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Think of speed networking as speed dating, except that you’re meeting people for professional reasons. Read on to learn more about this outreach method.
In the corporate world, networking goes a long way. It’s an opportunity to interact with professionals at various stages of their careers to discuss your goals and ambitions. With the rapid changes across companies, speed networking has been making headlines for all the right reasons.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss:
The fundamentals of speed networking
How to do speed networking
The benefits of speed networking
Sample questions to ask during speed networking
Speed networking allows people to connect with each other and share conversations. This meeting can be virtual or in-person, and it is designed to help you talk to professionals in different fields and expand your professional network. This type of networking event is often arranged between fresh graduates and alumni members, business representatives, chamber of commerce officials, and professional organizations.
During a speed networking event, all participants get to interact with each other on a round-robin basis. Attendees are allotted anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes to introduce themself to another participant. Each speed networking event has its own rules with respect to the meeting arrangement, dress code, what to bring, and time allotted to participants. These rules will be communicated to you well before the meeting.
Think of speed networking as a type of semi-formal, one-on-one discussion. You’ll get to talk to fellow professionals about your career and goals. Here are a few things to do before, during, and after a speed networking event.
Prepare a 60-second introduction for yourself. This should include your name, job title, company, and what you’re looking for in this event (such as leads, job opportunity, and/or exchange of ideas). If it’s an in-person event, consider bringing your business card and sharing it with each participant. Bring a notepad and pen with you in case you want to take some quick notes during your interactions with others, but do ask them for their consent before taking any notes.
Make sure to dress appropriately for the event and follow the instructions carefully. As you meet each person, shake their hands and exchange your business cards. Keep your conversations brief, but polite, and do not overshare your personal life with others. Take some notes, maintain eye contact, and be mindful of your body language. Be respectful of each attendee.
After the event is over, review all the business cards you’ve collected and prepare a database with their names and contact details. Next, feel free to send them an email and connect with them on LinkedIn to keep in touch. Consider sending an email within 24-48 hours of meeting them so that they remember you.
One of the biggest benefits of speed networking is that it’s an efficient use of time. Instead of spending hours talking to someone, you can introduce yourself, set expectations, and get straight to the point. This will save time for you, as well as the other attendees.
Speed networking is also a way to build confidence. If you’re anxious about talking to others and you want to improve your communication skills, what better way to do it than meeting with other professionals and having discussions?
Through a speed networking event, you can also practice your networking and job interviewing skills. By asking the right type of questions and sharing specific details about your professional life, you can practice communicating relevant information in a short timespan, which is a good interview skill to have. It’s also your opportunity to ask specific job interview questions and get some answers.
Here are a couple of questions you can ask the other attendees during a speed networking event.
What are some of the most crucial skills that are needed to succeed in your job role?
What are the top three things you love about your job?
If you could start a major initiative at your workplace, what would that be?
If someone is just getting started in your field, what advice would you give to them?
What is the one thing you wish you could change about your current job?
Speed networking is one of the many aspects of a proper job strategy. Get in touch with us today to learn more about career planning, resume writing, and job hunting!
Speed networking helps you connect with a wide variety of professionals in a short span of time.
Before a speed networking event, create an elevator pitch for yourself.
After the speed networking event is over, make sure to keep in touch with the attendees.
Asad is a digital content creator and recruiter. Since 2014, he has written on a wide variety of topics, including technology, finance, human resources, and marketing. Throughout his professional career, Asad has recruited and trained content writers for various software companies and marketing agencies, and he enjoys mentoring new immigrants in Canada on job interview best practices and networking techniques.