Preparing for a networking meeting

Biggerplate Unplugged particularly

I am preparing for Biggerplate Unplugged on the 31st January in London. 70 people are going! Some I know well, some are acquaintances and some I have never met. The map below outlines how I prepare for such meetings. It’s a technique I have used for many years. It helps me to get the most out of the day. You can’t expect to meet everyone, you know you must meet some people, you know you must avoid others for good (you frequently interact with them) and bad reasons (you can work that out for yourselves). This is what I do.

Preparing for meetings with Mindjet Preparing for Meetings.mmap Preparing for Meetings.mmap

For those that like to read including Google etc.

Preparing your Meeting Map

Get the Attendee List

Copy the attendee list from the web page, Word, PDF etc.  Pasting it direct to a Mindjet work may work but quite often I go via Word or Excel to tidy things up and then paste to the map.  This blog about Converting tables in to MindManager maps may help.

Add Markers

Use markers to categorise people:

  • “New to you”
  • “Recent acquaintances”
  • “Old friends”

I rename the flag marker set for this purpose.

Identify your targets

  • Which “new to you” people do you want to meet?
  • Which “old friends” do you want to catch up with?
  • What’s your strategy for “old friends” you don’t want to spend time with?

I use Task Priorities for this.


  • Which “No Shows” do you need to follow-up with afterwards?
  • Maybe there are people attending via the web.

I use my participant marker set. Note I have edited one of the standard Mindjet icons to create a “no-show” marker.

Use the Index Tab

It’s on the right hand side of your screen. It displays groups of markers and lets you click to the indexed topic.  Use this to double-check that people are in the correct marker group.  It also gives an indication of quantity in each group.

Use Power Filter

Show high priority people you want to meet, the Priority ONES. Focus your pre-meeting research on them.

Add Content and Links

  • Add an e-mail link
  • Add their Outlook Contact
  • Web links
  • Twitter Stream
  • Notes
  • Questions for them
  • Further research action pre-meeting for you

For Biggerplate Unplugged in London you may find these maps which have been uploaded useful starters if you are attending:

I will publish a blog about creating, editing and managing map markers shortly.

About Andrew Wilcox

Andrew is an experienced user of MindManager who shares his knowledge and advice for free here. And provides commercial training and consulting on how to exploit MindManager and other mind mapping software applications in business, organisations and for individuals at Cabre For more information about Andrew please visit his Google + profile.

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12 Responses to “Preparing for a networking meeting”

  1. Alex says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Good post – and I wish I could attend Biggerplate Unplugged, which sounds like a great initiative.

    I don’t know if you saw it, but I did a post about six months ago outlining how to use pivot tables in Excel to turn tables of contacts and similar information into a Mindjet/Mindmanager-friendly format:
    An alternative method of creating mindmaps from an Excel spreadsheet using pivotables

    While it initially seems a little fiddly, the pivot table method is actually fairly simple and more reliable than the other approaches. I now think this is the best way to get Word or Excel table data into Mindjet.

  2. Roony says:

    And if I don’t want to use Mindjet what can you recommend?

  3. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Hi Alex

    Thanks for pointing me (and everyone else) at that. I am sure it will be usefull soon.

  4. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Hi Roony

    Which OS do you want to edit your maps on: iOS, Mac, PC, Web, Linux ?

    What are the key use cases for you?

    What’s your (annual) budget?

    A good review of all applications is given here : – Vic’s Picks

  5. Michel says:


    Try ConceptDraw MindMap tool. It includes everything to create mind maps from a scratch, outline or excel, take notes, manage files and its export functions make it easy turn your mindmap into documents.

  6. Roony says:

    I’m using both iOs and Windows. The budget is tight not more than 250$ for the product. As for the use cases that would be brainstorming of course, also I need to plan my daily work and add lots of links to my map. I’m a big fan of mind mapping though for the personal needs.

    The link to review doesn’t work 🙁

  7. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Hi Roony

    Link should work now. (Even on my own blog comments I can’t add proper links. Must check settings)

    Some clues:

    Flash based mind mapping apps don’t work on iOS.

    Many applications support Mindjet’s file format, so there is a route back later.

    Many vendors now provide iOS versions which are less functional than the desktop and don’t replicate the desktop map format. I like the independent iThoughtsHD on iOS. It supports many desktop vendor formats.

    If brainstorming is a key function, make sure the application works as fast as your brain. It’s worth investing time to find out what the key shortcut keys are.

    I am not a frequent enough user of other applications to give further advice.

  8. Alex says:


    I’d like to echo your comments on iThoughsHD, especially on the iPad. Not only does it seem to work a lot better than the Mindjet iPad app, it also can import and export a wide variety of file formats. This meas that if you have an iPad you can use iThoughtsHD as a basic but effective way to exchange files between other mind mapping programs.

  9. Roony says:

    Sorry, I meant mac os not ios, that’s my major requirement. However I’m also using ios on iphone.

    Thanks for the tips Andrew, Michel and Alex, I’ll check all that 🙂

  10. Andrew Wilcox says:

    iMindMap is identical on Mac and PC because it runs inside a Java engine. But I don’t think you can drag links from web pages and file explorer like you can in Mindjet on Windows.

    Charlotte sat next to me likes Mindnode on Mac and iOS only.

    A Mindjet 11 or Individuals license includes both a Mac and a Windows license, web storage and browser app. The Mindjet iOS and Android apps are free. Check what the dual license situation is from other vendors.

    It’s no longer an easy decision. 🙂

  11. Roony says:

    Yeah, the range is big. I’m now checking ConceptDraw for mac and windows. I found that I can add any link and even attach a document. Mindjet is also good and enough powerful but i don’t like the payment policy.

  12. Andrew Wilcox says:

    Adding links is core to my use of MindManager. I have been dragging and droping links and images from web pages on to maps since 1997. Any application that does not do this will be slow for me to use.

    Attaching is a feature I use far less often. Why because it makes a copy of the original and adds it to the map file. This increases the size of the map file and only those with access to the map can co-edit it. There is no link back to the original or a process for synchronising them. However I do think its useful for creating archives of projects. Using Save As to send an end of month map or stage complete in a project.

    How does Concept Draw manage these things?

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