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How to Host a Successful Speed Networking Event

Hosting a speed networking event may seem like a daunting task, but with the right planning and execution, it can be a rewarding experience for both you and your participants. In this article, we'll explore...

Hosting a speed networking event may seem like a daunting task, but with the right planning and execution, it can be a rewarding experience for both you and your participants. In this article, we'll explore some key elements to consider when organizing a speed networking event that will leave a lasting impression.

Room Set-Up

Tables

For the best results, we recommend setting up the room with classroom-style seating. Use 72" x 18" tables and place 4 chairs (2 for each meeting) at each table. This arrangement allows for efficient networking and comfortable conversations. Check out the diagram below for an ideal room set-up.

Table Numbers

To ensure a smooth flow and easy navigation, it's essential to assign table numbers. Even if you're not using customized schedules, having table numbers will make the event more manageable and help direct participants. Use 12" table number stands for clear visibility.

Temperature and Water

Speed networking events generate a lot of energy and body heat. To keep participants comfortable, start with a slightly cooler room temperature. As the event progresses, the room will naturally warm up along with the conversations. Additionally, set up multiple water stations around the room to keep participants hydrated throughout the event.

Audio and Video

Simplicity is key when it comes to audio and video equipment. Use a wireless microphone for the event facilitator to allow mobility and effective management. Avoid incorporating screens or timers as they tend to distract participants from engaging conversations. By having full control over the timing, you can make adjustments on the fly without disrupting the flow.

Event Check-In

Pre-Registered

If you have customized schedules, arrange them alphabetically by last name to facilitate check-in. For events without schedules, print off the names of all participants and make a few copies. This will help you keep track of who has arrived and who hasn't. Consider creating an informative video or document that explains how the event works to expedite the check-in process.

Mingle

During the initial 15-minute window when participants arrive, encourage them to mingle with each other. This pre-event networking serves as a bonus round and sets a friendly and interactive tone for the rest of the event.

Moderating

Control and Instructions

As the moderator, it's essential to maintain control and set the tone for the event. Begin by providing clear instructions about the structure, objectives, and how participants can make the most out of the conversations. Keep the instructions concise, no more than 10 minutes, to ensure engagement and focus.

Commands

To ensure a smooth flow throughout the event, utilize commands that guide participants and maintain structure. Some essential commands include:

  • Begin Round x: Signals the start of a round.
  • Half Way: Informs participants that they are halfway through a round.
  • 30 Seconds Left: Alerts participants that the round is coming to an end.
  • Rotate: Instructs participants to move to the next round.
  • Rotation Notes: Reminds participants to take their belongings and quickly move to their next meeting.

Wrap-Up

As the event concludes, provide wrap-up announcements. Encourage participants to follow up with their new connections and build on the relationships they formed. Discourage blanket emails and recommend writing personalized notes to each new connection. Consider hosting additional networking opportunities after the event to allow participants to continue their discussions or meet with others they may have missed.

If you feel overwhelmed by the task of organizing your own speed networking event or want to elevate the networking experience for you and your attendees, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We offer free consultations and demos to help you create a truly memorable event.

Demo request Image Source: SpeedNetworking.com

Remember, with careful planning, a welcoming atmosphere, and effective moderation, your speed networking event can be a resounding success. Happy networking!

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