Coffee and lunch meetings are great ways to make connections and build your network. However, the worst thing you can do is miss that meeting as a result of bad communication or calendaring, especially if it is the first meeting with that person. Think of it as standing someone up on a date or being stood up. Not a great feeling and not the right message to deliver in the business world.
The goal of most of those meetings are to deliver the right image and professionalism. Missing it due to failure to add it to your calendar does not send that message at all. I get overly concerned with making sure the meetings are on my schedule and I can make them. If I am have an issue that is going to potentially raise a conflict I reschedule and apologize for doing so. However, I would much rather reschedule than leave your scheduled meeting sitting there sipping on water and waiting for you to arrive.
I am looking at ways to make sure these things don’t happen to me or my scheduled meetings. One is with the new app I am using for my website, Tungle (www.tungle.me). Tungle is one of the companies out there trying to make virtual scheduling easier and less prone to human mistake. Save the emails back and forth, use Tungle to view when someone is available, schedule the meeting and confirm it on both person’s schedules.