Adapted from the concept of speed dating where participants go on several short dates with one person and exchange as much information as they can before they are whisked away, round-robin style. If you are someone looking to tap into a new market or are just starting out in their businesses and could use the exposure, this is for you.
Walk The Talk
Since you are representing not just yourself, but your brand, it would do well to look good. What you wear is a reflection of how you want your business to appear, and in this, it would do to inject some effort. Depending on the industry - corporations and financial institutions have it a lot stricter, dress-code-wise - this could be a deal breaker. You are only given a limited amount of time, after all.
Making The Most
Once the event has started, it would do to prepare a few key phrases in order to leave a mark on the people you meet. Prepare beforehand for the things you want to say, and the impression you want to make. What sort of issues is pressing in your chosen industry? What are you looking for in a business contact? Is there any question that you want to ask? Try to write them down in a list in order to utilise your time effectively.
Say It Like You Mean It
When it starts, you are given only one opportunity to make yourself stand out. Body language is key here. Try to appear engaged by leaning in and listening intently to your partner. Compare notes on what their business is like in order to glean insight from other similar industries. If you can, compliment them or say something nice about their products, if you or someone you know already patronises their business.
In any case, it may be worth a shot to try speed networking if you’re someone who is looking to break into a new market or expanding their business. First impressions do matter, in this case, so take great care in making your time count. Effective business networking and relationships are based on trust after all, but the first initial meeting also matters a great deal.
- Tips for Participating in Speed Networking Events, JobSearch.About.com
- Tips for Throwing a Speed Networking Event that Isn’t Boring, AWellCraftedParty.com