Tips for Participating in Business Networking and Speed Networking Events
Speed networking is similar to speed dating, in as much as it is designed to meet a lot of business professionals in a short time period – the original speed networking concept we came across was so much like speed dating, it just felt ‘weird’ to us – but don’t worry, NoCo Speed Networking is speed networking “evolved” – we took the original weird or odd feeling out of it entirely!
The idea of meeting lots of people remains, but the round-table setup with multiple people listening to your elevator pitch at the same time makes it feel less like ‘dating’ and more like a few new friends having a chat with each other.
That said, you do need to prepare yourself for speed networking and this is how we recommend you prepare:
- Have your Elevator Speech Ready
There are a number of ways to prepare your elevator speech – you could summarize your history and how you got to this point in your career, or focus on a single product or service offering that you want to generate interest in. But we recommend that you close your elevator speech with a 10-second ‘ask’ – which succinctly summarizes your ideal customer for that particular offering.
- Bring Business Cards
Our events will attract a large number of people to interact with, the suggested number of business cards for our events is 50 plus.
No, we’re not joking. Just putting your card into the door-prize drawing and then completing the rounds of speed networking has the potential to give out 37 cards, add to that a little open networking at the beginning of the event and at the end, and allow for a really good connection wanting more than 1 business card and 50 cards is quite a reasonable number.
It can be quite embarrassing to run out of cards at an event like this, so perhaps have an extra stash of cards in a pocket – just in case you find a perfect networking partner who wants a dozen or more cards.
- Think of some sample questions for your networking partners.
You want to make sure you have a few questions ready for the event, these avoid an ‘awkward silence’ and make the whole event flow better. Some sample questions could be:
- What geographic areas are you most comfortable serving?
- How do you prefer we make introductions to you? Phone? Email? In person?
- Would it be possible to setup a coffee meeting to discuss how we might work together in the future?
- How many new customers can you handle in a week or month?
During our events, you will start out learning our speed networking process, but by the end of the event we’re sure you’ll have picked up how to complete our speed networking rounds easily and comfortably. The whole structure of the events is designed to put nervous networkers at-ease.
For more business networking and social media tips, signup for NoCo Speed Networking!