Speed Networking Tips
Follow these speed networking tips and take along a good load of business cards and make the most of your next speed event
1. Find out the format of the event
Different speed networking events are structured in different ways. Some have the whole of the time period allocated to speed networking whilst others have built-in time for more in-depth discussion with those whom you feel you want to talk further to. Knowing the format of the event will help you prepare yourself.
2. Establish how long you have with each person you meet
Once you know how long you have you can prepare your elevator pitch or 60 seconds accordingly.
3. Establish whether you will be asked to follow a set format for your time with each participant
You may be instructed to talk about specific areas – who you are, your company, what your company does, how you help other or it may be left entirely up to you about what you talk about in the given time. Again knowing this will help you prepare.
4. If possible aim to network with people you haven’t met before
Since speed networking is really just an opportunity to introduce your self and your services you really want to aim to introduce yourself to people you have never met before.
5. Let the other person talk first
Letting the other person talk first firstly shows your willingness to listen to the other person and also will give you useful information to help you tailor what you say in return.
6. Exchange business cards
You have limited time so at least ensure that you exchange business cards so you can contact them at a later date. The most essential of speed networking tips is – Remember your business cards!
7. Make notes on business cards collected
Make any notes on business cards collected so you will be reminded after the event you of who you have met and what action is required. Some cards will be laminated so make sure you have a pen which will write on all surfaces.
8. Organize your business cards effectively
You need to be organised so you have a place to put business cards collected and a separate place to keep your own business cards so you don’t end up giving out someone else’s card (easily done!) So perhaps have an in-pocket and out-pocket in your pants, jacket or handbag.
9. Make it clear if you would like a further conversation
If you think the person you have met would be a useful contact then let them know and indicate when you would like to talk again further.