Speed networking – scary right?
Yes I agree.
But it’s certainly good training for thinking on your feet, having fun, and speaking fast! And if by doing it over and over in one evening, you find the balance of not coming across overly humble, or overly salesy, then it’s worth the experience. It’s time efficient, you can make lots of new contacts fast, and who knows – it could be the start of something beautiful!
In fact, if you are planning on doing any business networking – the attitude you go with is so important. My good friend Darshana, who runs the UK part of Entrevo, is a wise one – and says:
Still afraid of speed networking?
I know – I have been there and done it. I actually sort of met Darshana at a speed networking event. Ask one of us to tell you the story some time. Once you get over the awkwardness, it’s really fun (and kind of efficient). The real magic comes with the follow up.
Some simple tips on making the most out of speed networking:
- Smile – it’s ok to stumble over your words, and mess up – people wont judge you as much as you think
- Get their details – ask for people’s business cards – and bring yours in case people ask for thiers
- Connect with people on LnkedIn afterwards – and include a personalise mssage with the connection request
- Look people up after, and tailor your follow up based on not only what you remember them saying, but what you can discover from their online profiles
- Enjoy it and have fun – the people you meet at this event could be your future friend, client or strategic partner, but in the beginning, they are just another warm human to connect with.