9 tips for speed networks

Have you ever been to a speed dating event? If so, you understand the concept of speed networks.

In a speed dating event you meet a lot of people in a very short time and the idea is that first impressions count, if you get along with someone and feel like you have things in common then you can meet again later and take more time to build. A relationship.

Speed ​​​​networking is the business equivalent where you have given yourself a set period of time (2 or 3 minutes, for example) to make initial contact with other business people. Enough time to exchange basic information about your business and the service you offer rather than an in-depth discussion.

The positive points of the fast network are that you get the opportunity to meet and exchange business cards with a relatively large number of other businessmen, and at the same time, the time limit forces you to keep going and eliminates the possibility of getting caught up talking. with the same. person for an entire event.

For me, there should also be an informal networking session at the end of the event where you can take some time to meet again with other people you felt you were building a relationship with. This way, you can start the relationship-building process instead of having finished it with just the exchange of a business card.

In these types of events it is vital to have mastered the art of effective use of business cards. When a session ends, you may have a pile of cards and find it difficult to put a face to the card at a later date. This is one of the reasons my business networking tips below are essential to getting the most out of speed networking and speed dating alike.

1. Before you decide to attend speed business networking events, take the time to understand the format. Is it all speed connection or is there also free connection time? If you understand the format you will be better prepared and you will get more out of the event.

2. Part of the above is about understanding how much time you have with each other. If it’s short, then you really need to have a well practiced and fine tuned sixty second presentation. If you have a little more time, maybe you can afford to dig a little deeper.

3. You may have to follow a set agenda in your meetings, such as your name, your business sector, etc. Knowing this in advance will help you practice the correct topic before the event.

4. Speed ​​networking when there is a fixed schedule is a very comfortable way to meet new people so take some time to identify those people you don’t know yet.

5. Don’t rush your speech, let the other person speak first, that way, if there are “common areas” you want to exploit, you can tailor your speech to their liking.

6. Make good use of business cards. When exchanging cards, take the time to read aloud what is on the other person’s card. The other person will see this as interest on your part, but more importantly, it will help you remember the face and name at a later date. You can also use the business card to take notes. This is an important point when designing your own cards: make sure the background is a light color so anyone can take notes on your card.

7. Considering point 6: don’t forget your business cards and a pen!

8. Don’t waste time searching through business cards to find yours. Make sure you have a place for the ones you’ve collected and your own. I use two separate pockets on my jacket or coat.

9. Finally, if you feel you have something else to say to someone and there might be a synergy, make it clear! Now is not the time for a polite conversation, be direct and let them know that you would like to have a new meeting and propose a date and time.