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Speed networking: the new star format

Speed networking: the new star format

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We all laughed when speed dating came into our sector, renamed as speed networking. But pragmatism is winning and both organisers and attendees are realising that this 100% practical format is the best way to ensure this sought-after networking. Here is how it works.

We have said it many times: networking often tops the list of motivations to attend events (b2b at least). The value of a professional depends largely on their network and all go hunting for business card at trade shows, conferences and other events. 
Problem: As says Olga Navarro (ViajesITB), “unorganised networking does not work”. Thinking people will connect during the coffee break is unrealistic because people just talk to whom they know. The organiser has to facilitate contact and for that nothing beats speed networking. What are the keys?

It is short, two, five, fifteen minutes. Five appears like the best duration, with enough time to talk and not enough to get bored.

You can match participants, defining appointments between complementary people.

You have to extend the appointments phase with a coffee break or aperitive so people can carry on talking to people they are most interested in.

Open your mind: SN is not only to sell, also to know possible partners, employees, providers… Brief your participants on that

Online helps, as always… You can get information of the participants and post them online so people come prepared

It´s about getting results, not cards. Many organisers follow the business results people have obtained after the SN, because that is the final objective.

It can be collective. SN is usually between two people, but Rosa Garriga reminds us of one on the Entrepreneur´s Day (Barcelona), which took place in 3-4 people´s tables.

Above all, it works! According to Xavier Ollé, exhibition consultant, “it is a simple format, very economical. If there are no-shows, or a meeting with someone you see you´re not interested in, you do not waste much time. And among the 20 appointments, it is unlikely that you don´t find a couple useful ones.”


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