Speed Networking: Making the Most of Conference Attendance
As companies become more aware of the corporate dollar, they recognize the need to cut expenses, improve revenue and receive more value for every dollar spent. This often involves the need to justify the high costs for attending trade shows and conferences, which has resulted in the emergence of speed networking as a top reason for business professionals to attend, according to the New York Times.
"When you're asking people to travel and pay a lot of money, a good keynote and a bag of goodies isn't enough any more," says Adam Fendelman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of eXtreme Networking, in the Times article. Neither is the time and expense of flying across the country, only to be seated in a random manner with a group of people that may be charming but have no relevance to the attendees work.
Professionals who attend the traditional conference gatherings, like cocktail parties and lunches, usually group with known colleagues. SpeedNetworking.com, operated by the patent-pending eXtreme Networking matching software, uses the software-based methodology that forces the attendees to mingle and achieve the results intended by such meetings.
Much like the modern method of the speed dating "round robin approach," the attendees fill out profiles for the purpose of meeting the desired contacts and the results of professionals moving on to the next prospect can result in compiling a list of useful, new acquaintances that they may deal with in the future.
California-based Staffing Industry Analysts experimented with a variety of methods to facilitate face-to-face interaction. The company organizes conferences and trade shows and has used eXtreme Networking in its programs for two years.
"We've set up tables by discussion topic or industry and let people choose where they sit." said Barry Asin, Staffing Industry's chief analyst. "We've done the cocktail hours and lunches -- and they're fine -- but with speed networking, there's always an incredible buzz in the room. People are excited and full of energy."
The New York Times article also mentions the scrutiny put on falling corporate revenues and the downfall of employees sent to traditional events for old-fashioned networking.
SpeedNetworking.com has been producing these events since 2001 and eXtreme Networking was developed in 2003 to inject technology into the old process of traditional networking.