But another, underutilized means for strengthening them is by carefully integrating structured networking periods into the conference schedule.At Oregon State University we have begun using variations on the "speed dating" model (just another name for structured networking) in a wide variety of settings. Sessions in conferences and workshops, whether keynote addresses, panels, or town hall meetings, share a common characteristic: one person at a time speaks, and everyone else is expected to listen.It's all about maximum impact, because after your two minutes each way is up, the whistle blows, and you change partners! Or are you searching for a potential business partner? Abstract Most Extension educators seek new ideas for organizing more exciting and animated workshops and conferences.The key to making speed networking work, is to take those contacts and develop them over time into "credible" relationships that lead to "profitable" referral partners.Imagine making more contacts in one hour than some people do in a career.This article describes structured networking activities (also know as "speed dating") that succeed in enlivening meetings, strengthening networking, and improving learning.
As founder of the world's largest business referral and networking organization, you might not be surprised to learn that I have some definite opinions and ideas about how to best use speed networking as a tool for creating viable referral partnerships.
They are fairly structured in the way people queue up to meet.
For example, one variation is to have two concentric circles of people.
A packed out conference room in Dublin full to the brim with business men and women were about to experience it.
Chairs facing each other, a large bell at the top of the room – a few were a little anxious not knowing what to expect.