I’ve attended many networking events throughout my 17 years in the recruitment industry and more recently as an entrepreneur and networking becomes an inevitable part of your business plan and strategy to promote your business.
Since co-founding Eva Connections part of our company is focussed on organising events where women can develop authentic connections in a relaxed, non-corporate informal environment. After organising a number of focus groups whilst researching for our business, the feedback we received was overwhelming in terms of how much people actually disliked networking, even the word ‘networking’ has a negative connotation attached to it. Many people mentioned that they felt forced to go to a networking evening because they think that is what’s required in order to grow their business. And quite often there was a feeling of dissatisfaction after attending event after event only to have met one or two semi-interesting people, where inevitably not much in the way of business transpired from these meetings.
Which is why the concept of speed networking is quite unique in the fact that everyone knows the objective, which is to increase your business networks and have the opportunity to meet everyone in the room. With that in mind, here are my top 5 reasons why you should join a speed networking event.
1) You can connect rapid fire with a diverse range of people who bring different skills and knowledge and you don’t have the awkwardness of being stuck with someone for too long if you don’t connect, you can move on quickly without being rude!
2) Its more fun, relaxed, informal and less ‘cliquey’ than traditional networking events and you don’t have to sit through a boring presentation first
3) You get to meet everyone in the room rather than just a handful of people that you don’t move on from because its easier to stay with them rather than go through another 30 minutes of forced conversation, which can be a bit tedious
4) If you find you don’t connect with someone you can feel safe in the fact that you only have to endure another 3-5 minutes with said person
5) You can unashamedly talk about your business and what you’re looking for in developing your network because that is exactly the reason why you are there.