PREPARATION FOR THE SPEED NETWORKING MEETING
Practice a 60-second statement that includes your name, title, or occupation, and what you are looking for, such as information, leads, a job, or an internship. Some people like speed networking because you get right to the point and there is no time for small talk.
Assemble networking credentials typed up and ready for you to put in the chat.
- Name & Surname,
- Company Name,
- Mobile number,
- Website details,
- Email Address,
- Social Media Platform links i.e. URL LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Linktr.ee, etc.
- Calendly Link
- Any additional side hustle that you may do.
Come along with pen and notepad.
Attire? As you wish
Remember that you have a few seconds to make a positive first impression.
I will be hosting one, ONE-HOUR networking meetings (via Zoom) to help navigate your business through these exciting times, which will start, on the dot as advertised 11:00 am South African Standard Time every Wednesday.
I would encourage you to get to the meetings five minutes earlier as you may miss out on the first one-to-one networking opportunity and that could be detrimental.
I will be offering a lively mix of small break-out rooms which allows you to promote and maximize the exposure of your business. At all the sessions, referrals are done and business details are shared in the chat. This is an opportunity to build your network globally.
You will be placed in break-out rooms using the Zoom platform for a five-minute one to one allowing each other a couple of minutes to ‘pitch’ their business. At the end of the five minutes, you automatically return to the main meeting and are then reassigned to another break-out room.
This assignment is completely random, so it is possible but unlikely that you could speak to the same person twice. Should that happen you can move to another room and/or return to the main meeting hub for some open networking.
We aim to complete ten meetings with the meeting lasting sixty minutes maximum. A reminder: follow-through is crucial after the networking meetings, it is not just about ‘show and tell’.
Build your network and meet new people that you can do business with either now shortly.
Reach out to all the contacts made in these networking meetings via their various social media platforms, be that LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and their websites. You will be able to save the chats where everyone’s contact details can be found at the end of each meeting.
DURING THE EVENT
- First of all, have fun. The fast pace of this kind of event contributes to a high level of energy in the room
- Usually, 5 minutes are allowed for each round; the leader will inform the group about the time frame
- As you meet each person, exchange names and business details. Putting your network credentials in the chat is permissible
- Remember to save the chat at the end of the meeting
- Be extremely aware of the time factor so that every person gets a fair chase to promote themselves and/or their business
- Talking too long in a situation like this is highly insensitive and damages your first impression
- Take notes
- You will not have time to schedule a phone call or meeting, so following up the next day will be important
- Above all, respect the process. At the signal, end your conversation immediately and move, or allow the other person to move, to the next person. You can always continue conversations later
After the speed networking event, send an email within 24-48 hours to each person you want to follow up with. Better yet, make a phone call to continue the conversation or book a meeting or lunch to move the relationship along.
Certainly, one of the goals of speed networking is to meet new individuals who can directly be of help to you. But your goal shouldn’t stop there. Each person you meet has a network of individuals they know, and it may be one of those persons who will be a good match for you.
By meeting individuals during a speed networking event, you potentially “plugin” to the people they know, greatly extending your ability to connect with individuals related to your goals.
To be effective at your job, manage your career, and find new opportunities, it’s not just what you know and what you can do, but also who you know. Speed networking can be another tool in your professional toolkit to contribute to your success.