Active networking is very important for every entrepreneur because it helps to build strong relationships with other entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, advisers and even customers. We have already talked about the importance of business networking for the success of your company and we have discussed the five essential networking tips which every startup owner must follow: be prepared, listen, search for new faces, make a list, follow up.
Speed networking is one of the traditional networking approaches, which gives the opportunity to the attendants of specific event to meet other attendants in a short amount of time in order to make new contact and expand their professional network. The participants have limited time between 60-90 seconds, in some events up to five minutes, to introduce themselves, to present briefly their businesses, business goals and visions and to exchange contact information. Once they hear bell ringing, which marks the end of the meeting session, the participants have to move on to the next person and repeat the same activity.
As you can see, the way speed networking works and the limited time that all participants have allows us to think about the need to get prepared for such an experience in order to turn the odds of making valuable contacts in our favor. Here you can find three tips that will help you turn every speed networking event to a great experience.
As usual: be prepared. The limited time requires high preparation.
Prepare in advance your speech and make sure that you keep your introduction short but rich in right information, including key elements of your business vision. Don’t plan your speech to be as long as the whole given time. Speed networking is two-sided process which means that you should be ready not only to present yourself and your business, but to listen to your interlocutor as well. Prepare and a list of questions which are important for you and which you are willing to ask the people that you are networking with.
Don’t forget to bring many business cards!
It is always a good idea to bring a lot of business cards. You are to meet many different people and you should be ready to hand your contact information to every one of them. Don’t underestimate some of your interlocutors just because they are from different industries or just because they seem uninterested – they may know someone who is. Leave your business cards and be sure that you didn’t miss any potential opportunities.
Very important for every type of networking event: Follow up!
It is important to follow up with the people whom you have interacted with. It is always a good idea to send an e-mail or to make a phone call to those who you’ve talked with just to make sure that they will definitely remember you with the follow up.