Speed Networking: Expand Your Business
In a world that seems to move at an increasingly quicker pace, it’s only fitting that we adjust our pace along with it, especially in the corporate world. Aside from faster email responses and a more efficient filing system, another key aspect of corporate culture has picked up speed – networking.
MAXIMIZE YOUR CONTACTS AND MINIMIZE YOUR TIME SPENT
Introducing speed networking: the corporate world’s version of speed dating. Held at pre organized events, it works in a round robin system, where you get 2-5 minutes (depending on organizer rules) in a one-on-one setting to quickly introduce yourself, explain what your company does, what you are looking for and to exchange business cards.
Naturally, this event can provide plenty of exposure in a minimal amount of time. After completing all the “rounds”, there is usually an open networking time frame where participants get a chance to follow up with promising candidates for what they’re looking for, or touch base with people they felt they didn’t get enough time with.
Sounds overwhelming? Not if you come prepared! With events like these becoming more and more popular at conferences, it’s very probable that you’ll find your boss asking you to sign up for one of these events to make new contacts. Below, we list 6 key tips to ensure that shine at the next speed networking event.
6 Key Tips
- Practice a 60 second speech where you introduce yourself, title and occupation, and what you are looking for from the event (information, to fill a job position, leads, etc).
- Come prepared with plenty of business cards! 30 is a good number.
- Assemble any brochures or information pamphlets, preferably with company information. Visuals are vital for people’s memory, and the extra effort stands out.
- Bring a pen, notepad, and appointment calendar. While the other person is speaking, take notes on the back of their business card (appearance, key points you liked) to better remember them later for follow ups.
- Dress appropriately. Usually business casual is the norm for these events, but it’s always best to double check with the event organizer.
- Suggest a next step, if applicable. If you feel there is a positive business relationship in the future, discuss a follow up for the next day.
Although such vital interactions and conversations can seem unnaturally rushed and forced in such fast paced environments, once you get into the swing of things, you’ll find the speed and cut-to-the-chase atmosphere quite refreshing, and that is contributes to success.
After all, success in any business isn’t just what you can do or what you know, but who you know!