Speed networking (or speed business meeting) is a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts, generally with a bell. Primarily, the practice involves multiple people that gather in a single space in order to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during a set period of time. During an interaction, attendees share their professional backgrounds and business goals. Networkers are generally seeking exposure to new markets and/or to expand their pool of vendors.
Mid-America Association of Real Estate Investors is holding their now Annual Speed Networking Event on Tuesday December 9th and we want to help our members prepare for the meeting and we have five things to help you get ready for this or any other speed networking event.
First, Figure Out the Times: Find out the structure of the meeting and how long each person will have. At this event we plan 3 minutes for each pair to complete their exchange. About 1 minute per person, time to change sides and seats.
Second, Plan Your Pitch or Pitches: Taking the time in advance to write out what you would like to say in your one minute is very important to remembering your pitch. Write it out and practice it a few times so you are comfortable. You may want to also have two separate pitches depending on what you need or what you have to offer.
Third, Let the Other Person Go First: Letting the other person goes first lets then know you are interested in them. And going second allows you to structure your pitch to fit what they might have to say.
Fourth, Exchange Business Cards: As you wrap up your exchange with the other person, exchange business cards. And before moving on, be sure to take a few notes on the business card. Also bring a small note pad to take notes in case a few people do not come prepared with cards.
Fifth, Follow Up: Make it clear to key contacts that you want to follow up. At this meeting you may want to stick around for further discussion at the after hours networking or you may want to connect later in the week on the phone, for coffee or in some other way.
And last, Have Fun . . . this isn’t rocket science folks, its talking with people in the same industry. So have fun!
Note our 3rd Annual Speed Networking to Benefit the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation will be held at the Tuesday December 13th meeting of Mid-America Association of Real Estate Investors. There is no charge for the meeting, however we do ask that all attendees bring a new unwrapped toy to help us reach our goal of 4 heaping boxes of toys. Click here to RSVP so we have a solid idea of how many people will be participating in the evening.