We recently facilitated an event for over 100 top executives from a prominent worldwide corporation at their global summit. Upon completion of the event, we conducted a participant feedback survey. The responses were recorded into our system and the feedback was consistent with the rest of our events. This enabled us to provide critical data and feedback to our client to measure the success of their event.
The event itself was 90-minutes long and consisted of 8 rounds of customized matching based on the individual preferences of attendees. In 90-minutes, over 800 NEW connections were made, which is a true maximization of time (efficiency at its finest!). In the feedback survey, 90% of attendees stated that they connected with "Good" or "Outstanding" contacts and over 80% indicated that they would follow-up with more than half of their new connections. Best of all, 100% of attendees indicated that they would participate in another customized Speed Networking event.
The client listed above had participants from different locations around the world, varying management levels, job functions and other variables that effected matching specifications. If we take this customized event and compare it to a traditional speed networking event, we can identify some key differences that effect the overall success. In a traditional event (no software matching component), the connections are completely random with no clarity on who attendees will meet. Often times, this leads to meeting competitors, current contacts/friends and irrelevant contacts who do not provide value to their network. We have been to traditional speed networking events where we met 10 people and none of them were relevant to our professional networks. Our software customization allowed attendees to connect with people from different offices, management levels and job functions that were significant to collaboration within the company to further growth.
We encourage the use of speed networking, as it is a great way to facilitate introductions and makes the best use of time during a networking event. However, to truly maximize the outcome for participants, they should be able to pre-select the types of people they would like to meet and exclude the type of people they do not want to meet. If an attendee from industry A does not want to meet someone from industry B, they should not waste their time connecting with that person. Our software sorts through a room of people and determines the best possible meetings each person should have, based on combined interests. Attendees don't waste time talking to irrelevant contacts or catching up with old friends.