Speed Networking

Accelerating Business Relationships

Speed Networking - Accelerating Business Relationships

© iStockphoto

When the bell rings, move on to the next person.

Imagine that you hear a bell sound from across a restaurant. You assume that a diner's food is ready, or that someone has an unusually loud smartphone, so you go back to your meal.

When you hear the sound again, you look up and see people moving around in a circle, switching chairs, and shaking hands. This group is engaged in speed networking.

Speed networking is a way to make new business acquaintances quickly and effectively, and to form relationships that can benefit your career and lead to new opportunities.

In this article, we'll explore what speed networking is, discover how to plan a successful event, and find out how to build working relationships in this way.

What Is Speed Networking?

Speed networking can take several forms, but the aim is to meet as many people as possible, as quickly as you can.

Usually, people gather together in a room and spend a set period of time – usually just a few minutes – meeting one another to exchange information. The organizer will give a signal, and people will rotate and meet someone new.

This speed-networking concept is a blend of speed dating and business networking. However, instead of meeting potential suitors, you'll make valuable business contacts that can open doors to new opportunities in your career.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Speed Networking

Most of us find it challenging to walk up to a stranger and introduce ourselves in a memorable way, so we usually look for familiar faces in a crowded room. Speed networking is effective because it encourages you to talk to someone new, and get straight to the point without any uncomfortable small talk.

In other situations, you have to find time to chat and be in the right location. However, speed networking simplifies this stressful process, lowers the pressure, and encourages people to open up. Everyone in the room is there for the same reason – to meet and learn about one another....

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