“Meeting for coffee” has become our professional default when it comes to networking, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Next time you’re setting up time to get to know someone, whether you were introduced or met briefly at an event, consider one of these options instead: doing a 30-minute phone call, a 60-minute phone call, a small group gathering (like a lunch or dinner), a large group event (like a cocktail reception), or a meal with just the two of you. The best option will depend on how much time and energy you want to put into the relationship. If you’re doing a favor for a friend, spending several hours dining one-on-one with your contact is going above and beyond — a phone call would likely suffice. Alternatively, if you think the person could become a personal friend, you may want to invite them to a more relaxed event, where you can get to know them better.