Speed Networking

June 22, 2012

By Khushi Pasquale

Twelve people attended the Speed Networking Event. It was one of the most lively ELTABB events I’ve ever attended.

The mix was just right: old-timer and newcomer; business and academic; personal and professional; moderated and free-form. Anne started us off by floating the topic “Business Cards”. Quickly recommendations were offered for where to get free cards, the advantage of special paper or design, adding identity. Samples were sent around the table.

Speed networking, based on speed dating principles, involves making contact and asking questions to unveil possible areas of support or commonality. Anne provided us with a list of questions. In pairs we discussed questions we liked, additions or deletions. Then we got started. Sitting across from my partner, we first exchanged business cards. Then I had 90 seconds to ask questions and get responses. Anne, as time keeper, signaled when the roles should change, and my partner then had 90 seconds to ask me questions. Every 3 minutes we changed partners and repeated the process until we’d sat with everyone. At first I found it incredibly loud, but later it felt more like each conversation lived in its own bubble.

I spoke with ELTABBers I’d never gotten a chance to really engage with; I was given references to others who could help me reach my professional goals; I was enthralled with the stories of a trainer who was visiting from India. The atmosphere was characterized by generosity. This compact form has galactic impact! It’s definitely something worth doing and worth doing again.