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During an interaction, participants share their professional backgrounds and business goals. Speed networking is often referenced as a derivative of speed dating ,  the round-robin approach to meeting potential suitors first developed by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo in the late s.
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Speed networking combines speed dating with business networking. Credit for applying speed dating concepts to the corporate world has been attributed to Tom Jaffee, a founder of a speed-dating network. Although the techniques for speed dating and speed networking can be similar — participants paired or grouped together for the purpose of introduction — the practices differ in their end goals. Speed daters are trying to narrow down their choices by eliminating the unsuitable; conversely, speed networkers are trying to broaden their connections by increasing their exposure.
Most speed networking events begin in an open room for Participants to mingle. The host then explains the structure of the event.
The moderator will place time limits on the participants interactions, telling them when the time intervals have expired. In the Round Robin model, participants meet each other sequentially in random pairings. To facilitate movement of participants, the chairs in the room are often organized in two circles or facing rows of desks. The host opens the first round of meetings, usually with a bell or buzzer.
The two participants in each meeting introduce themselves, briefly summarizing their business histories and goals. They often exchange business cards and possibly additional information for a follow-up meeting.
After a set time period of a few minutes, the host stops the first round of meetings. Then either the inner or outer circle participants — or the front or back line of desks — moves to the next space.
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Following a brief settling-in period, the host starts the second round of meetings. In Round Robin speed networking, a participant would meet an average of 10 contacts during an hour-long event.
In the Station-based model, participants meet each other individually based on a pre-assignment. Prior to coming to the event, participants fill out a questionnaire listing their business background job title and industry and whom they wish to meet suppliers, customers or vendors. The profiles are then matched electronically and a list of meetings is generated for participants based on their preferences.
At the event, numbered stations are set up where participants meet with their assigned partners according to their list for a set period of time. A typical station-based speed networking event may yield 7 to 10 contacts during an hour-long event. In the Group-based model, participants are assigned to a sequence of tables.
Each table seats a specific number of participants, depending on attendance. A typical event may call for tables of four to Table assignments are often predetermined by computer software but other techniques can be used to determine the groups each attendee participates in.
Speed dating: Why are women more choosy?
Each participant at the table takes a few minutes — the length of these introductions can also be set — to introduce him or herself. Time at the table varies based on how the event organiser coordinate the event but usually lasts five to 15 minutes. Speed networking has many applications. Many organizations use speed networking to structure events: Events that benefit from speed networking include: Speed networking is particularly useful "when many organisations are gathering at large events.
In speed mentoring , the goal is to facilitate suitable relationships between mentors and mentees. I was off to a bad start. As a designer, I don't really wear suits. The odds were stacked against me; I needed banter of the purest grade. But what sharp repartee could I deliver in less than three minutes, with no knowledge of the person's tastes, sense of humour or background?
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Because that's by and large how I approach potential partners; I'll get to know them, discover their weaknesses and then attack! It was nerve-wracking, but also strangely alluring in the concentration of its adrenaline rush.
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Humour is probably my strongest weapon. The Ahmed gene pool didn't bless me with either a Pitt-like body or a Clooney-style boat race, but it may have dished out a wee bit of Corbett-style comedy. And if you've ever seen Corbett reclining in his chair and telling a tale, it's at least seven minutes long.
And 10 seconds of that has to be: No time to waste - can't even get a good look at the person you're talking to as that will take at least 30 seconds. Rather than waste all that valuable time staring into someone's eyes, whispering sweet nothings, it's better to launch into a short anecdote about travelling to the venue, the trials and tribulations of circumnavigating hordes and buskers. Or worse, hordes of buskers. Smile a lot and hold eye contact, don't shuffle your feet while looking distractedly at the floor.
Shake hands and then it's goodbye, sailing off to the distant table two feet away and recreating the same ambience. I couldn't even digest whether I'd made a good impression in that timeframe, let alone judge the woman across from me.