MixerSeater: Networking event seating char generator

Speed Networking

Extremely time-efficient and effective way of generating professional contacts
What is Speed Networking?
How Speed Networking Helps?
How to Organize & Manage a Speed Networking Event?
Common Problems Faced During Speed Networking Events
Tips to Use When Arranging a Speed Networking Event

What is Speed Networking?

Speed Networking (Business Speed Dating) is an extremely time-saving and effective way of making professional contacts. The purpose of speed networking is to encourage participants to make as many connections as possible.

The idea of Speed Networking originated at the beginning of 2000’s by Tom Jaffee who brought the concept of speed dating into the world of corporate. However, the main difference between speed dating and speed networking lies in the purpose of meeting each other. While in speed dating, each individual intends to end up with one suitable connection, during speed networking the goal is to make as many relevant connections as possible.

How Speed Networking Helps

Establishing professional connections is extremely important for people wishing to grow their business in today's world. It is, therefore, no surprise to see many networking events taking place. Such events significantly help individuals that otherwise feel too shy to create valuable connections. During a speed networking event, all the participants have gathered together for a predefined purpose. Therefore, starting a professional conversation without pleasantries is not regarded as something out of the ordinary.

For the participants, speed networking events bring about many benefits. To effectively manage your career, you must have ample professional connections. However, regardless of the immense availability of various social media platforms, there is still a need for meeting people face-to-face to create really meaningful connections.

A speed networking event gives a person access to numerous individuals in different fields. Professionals easily exchange contact information during these events and sometimes set up future meetings as well. This opens doors to potential growth opportunities and valuable partnerships. Since all the participants are attending the event due to the sole purpose of making connections, there is no need for small talk. Getting straight to business after the meeting is the norm during such events, which professionals appreciate highly.

How to Organize & Manage a Speed Networking Event

If you are thinking about arranging a successful speed networking event, you must first educate yourself. Organizers use different methods when planning their speed networking event. There are three models for organizing speed networking events. These include:

  1. Round Robin
    In such a model, interactions take place with a predefined sequence that makes you meet a variety of people. The meetings start with a buzzer, and during this first round, participants exchange essential information. Once the first round is complete, the host starts the second round. The average maximum number of contacts a participant makes during an hour-long round robin session is 10. However, it is not necessary that all the participants you meet come from a relevant background.

    How to run round robin event using MixerSeater
  2. Station Based
    During such a speed networking model, the meetings between different participants are set before the event. This becomes possible through the information shared in the questionnaire filled by participants beforehand. Participants also identify which professionals they would like to meet at the speed networking. The average maximum number of contacts a participant makes during an hour-long station based session is 10.
  3. Group-Based
    Out of all the three models, a group based model is the most effective. A technologically advanced tool, such as MixerSeater, generates an optimal seating system. Each table may consist of 4-10 chairs, and the participants at every table have a set amount of time to introduce themselves. Since the tool generates a seating plan that encourages the creation of valuable connections, the probability of achieving success during such events is very high.

    How to run group-based speed networking event using MixerSeater?
Out of all the three models, a group based model is the most effective.

Common Problems Faced During Speed Networking Events

  1. Not Enough Time
    Many participants complain about the scarcity of time when meeting new people. This problem is most prevalent in events that incorporate the round-robin methodology. In group-based models, participants feel much more at ease since they do not have to repeat information. They can focus on building valuable connections with professional with the experience you are looking for. Therefore, time is utilized to the maximum in group-based speed networking events.
  2. Inability to Build a Rapport
    Merely giving out a business card to anyone present at the event does not guarantee growth in business. Participants look for events that have an attendee list comprised of people with a background they are looking for. Therefore, the success of a speed networking event lies in its ability to bring together people that will benefit each other.
  3. Lack of Structure
    When attendees suffer because of the poor management of the event, it is more likely to lead to failure. The organizers need to make sure that the venue of the event is accessible for all attendees. Moreover, the Wi-Fi and other facilities should be provided to avoid any hurdles for the participants when forming contacts. The process of signing up for the event should be easy and secure.
  4. Too Many Distractions
    While it is crucial for the management committee to provide the attendees with refreshment and other facilities, there should not be too many distractions. The purpose of the speed networking event should be purely to encourage people to form contacts. Giving them an environment that does not present any distractions is the responsibility of the organizer.
The success of a speed networking event lies in its ability to bring together people that will benefit each other.

Tips to Use When Arranging a Speed Networking Event

  1. Make the Registration Process Easy
    Many tools can be used to ensure smooth registration. As an organizer, you must be prepared for the number of participants you are expecting. To have a clear idea about the attendees, you must make them fill out forms and have an easy signing up process. It is at this time that you should also ask them for professional background information.
  2. Opt For Group Based Speed Networking Model
    By now, it must be clear that a group based speed networking models work efficiently. To make your event a success, you should use the information gained during the registration process. By having optimal seating in place that ensures the generation of valuable connections, you increase the likelihood of success.
  3. Learn from Others
    Ask questions and look for interesting ideas on professional groups like Networking Events Organizers Group on LinkedIn.
  4. Use Technology
    Do not rely on your skills only when trying to form a seating plan. Using technological tools such as MixerSeater can help you make the most of your speed networking event. There are also different registration tools that you can incorporate into your planning process.
Do not rely on your skills only when trying to form a seating plan.

Bottom Line

Without having a clearly outlined goal in mind, you cannot expect yourself to achieve success. There is a lot of planning that goes into organizing a speed networking event. Hence, you should start the preparations as early as possible. As mentioned in this article, it is the most effective when you follow a group based model for your speed networking event. Moreover, it is also important to make sure that the participants have ample opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. To do this, you will need the help of different technological tools like MixerSeater and registration software solutions.

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