There are a number of options when it comes to structuring a networking event but it's often difficult to decide which format is right for your audience. In order to determine what type of networking event is right for your organization, you must ask yourself "what is my objective?". Once you determine the goals and objectives that you'd like to achieve at the event, you can determine what event structure works best for you.
We've put together a small list that compares SpeedNetworking.com Events with Round Table Networking Events.
Speed Networking – Our proprietary matching software takes information from all participants and determines the best possible matches for the event. We take the idea of a round table discussion but eliminate the people from your table who may not be relevant to your objectives.
Round Table – A round table event randomly assigns participants to tables and often times after rotating, you sit at a table with people you have already met. You may meet a greater number of people but it can often times become inefficient.
Topical vs. Meaningful
Speed Networking – Our event is designed to engage two like-minded individuals who have a strong mutual interest in connecting with one another and allow them to dive into conversations beyond their title and company. This is a big reason we include conversation starters on the schedules. Participants don't have to wait for an "opportunity" to speak about a relevant topic to them and can engage in a highly targeted conversation.
Round Tables – Round tables are great for topical discussions, especially if each table is led by an industry expert. It allows for open discourse amongst a group of peers but networking is often times a secondary objective at these events. In our findings, round table discussions that do not include a moderator or specific instructions, tend to be overwhelming and produce minimal results, specifically with regards to networking. It can be overwhelming to meet and remember a large number of people in such a short period of time, unless they plan on taking notes about each person at the table. This also distracts from the ability to have a free flowing conversation.
Speed Networking – One-on-one conversations allow individuals who tend to be more introverted, the opportunity to connect in a comfortable setting. They feel at ease and can share their wealth of knowledge with their conversation partner, rather than worrying about when to speak up.
Round Tables – They often times alienate individuals that are introverts, as the discussions are typically dominated by a few primary individuals at the table. Introverts shy away from speaking in larger groups, yet they have valuable information to offer and it's often missed.
Speed Networking – We provide matching data that allows you to see the quality of each meeting that takes place based on the customized matching parameters. You also have the ability to see how many people represent each matching category and the interests levels of your participants in meeting with each of these categories. You can use this information in the future to help implement sessions that are directed towards the interests of your participants.
Round Tables – Matching data is not provided and it is difficult to gauge the quality of matches, as participants likely will not remember each individual that they met.
Speed Networking Data
Event Metrics – This is a link to a case study we put together with direct feedback from an event with Vistage International. They are an association for high-level executives and business owners who want to connect with similar professionals
SpeedNetworking.com vs. Traditional Networking Events – You can look at data that compares our events to traditional networking events.
There is no 'wrong answer' when it comes to networking, as long as you are providing an opportunity for your audience to connect with one another. Some ways may produce better results but it truly depends on your goals and what you're looking to achieve. Curious to learn more? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to share some ideas!