Tonight’s networking event was different. It was sort of a speed dating for businesses and entrepreneurs. A friend told me about so I went online and paid my fee. From their website this promised to be a fun evening with over 50 attendees to “speed network” with.
I got to Flute a few minutes before the event began and was greeted by the hostess. She handed me a card and explained how the evening worked. We were all assigned a number that was atop the card. Every person we talked with we would write down their name and number. If after the speedy schmooze we felt like we wanted to get to know more about them and their business we placed a “X” next to their names. The next day we would be emailed the contact info for any matches we had.
The evening started with me and my friend sitting together. From there I moved on to a woman who has a Master’s in leadership and works in branding, an event manager from Italy, an opera singer who works with special needs children, angel investors, an actress looking for spokespeople work, and one or two of the obligatory financial planners.
This was definitely a different spin on networking for me. We only got three or four minutes to talk with each other. This made it quite challenging. It takes me three or four minutes to say, “Hello.” As the evening went on, I found a rhythm to the interviews. I started by asking the person about their passions and then listened. I tried to steer the conversation away from their pitch and hone in on the real person and their challenges, with what time was left I provided suggestions and advice on how to overcome them. Notice I never explained what I did, except for the obligatory introduction of, “Hi, I’m NAME, and I do PROFESSION.” I provided valuable suggestions to support them.
Overall, I enjoyed this event. While it was not as heavily attended as the promoters promised, it still provided an intimate, casual environment to speak one on one with people and make a connections. I also love the wide variety of people who showed up. I am definitely looking forward to attending their next event.