Speed Networking Tips
INTA is offering Speed Networking in the Exhibition Hall in Hall 8.1. Speed Networking is an ideal way to find new business associates and expand your network, as it brings people together to exchange contact details and business information. Bring your own business cards—and your smile!
Who should attend: new members, non-members, first-time attendees, and experienced Annual Meeting attendees interested in making new contacts.
Speed Networking Hours:
Sunday, May 21: 12:30–1:30 pm and 2:00–3:00 pm
Monday, May 22: 10:30–11:30 am, 12:00–1:00 pm, 1:30–2:30 pm, and 3:00–4:00 pm
Tuesday, May 23: 10:30–11:30 am, 12:00–1:00 pm, 1:30–2:30 pm, and 3:00–4:00 pm
Wednesday, May 24: 10:30–11:30 am and 12:00–1:00 pm
The following hints will help you make the most of your Speed Networking session.
Bring and distribute your business cards.
- Exchange cards with your partner at the beginning of each three-minute session—this can be a time saver.
- When you exchange cards, take time to read what is on your partner’s card. The other person will see this as interest on your part and, equally important, it will help you remember faces and names later on.
- Make sure to bring a pen to write notes on the business cards you collect. You can use these notes after the event to remind you whom you met with and what actions, if any, are required.
- Organize your business cards effectively. Store cards from contacts in one particular place and keep them separate from your own business cards.
Develop an efficient way to introduce yourself.
- Consider developing an “elevator pitch”—a response you can give in any situation when someone asks you who you are or what you do.
- Think about how you want to describe yourself. You could talk about your current position, explain a project you’ve undertaken, or describe your goals for 2017.
- Consider letting the other person talk first. That way, if you find you have interests in common, you can adapt your pitch accordingly and talk about subjects that interest you both.
- Remember—you have only three minutes to make your first impression, so make sure it is a good one.
Contribute to an effective conversation.
- Don’t be afraid to open the conversation with simple and safe questions, such as “How long have you been a member of INTA?” and “Where are you from?”
- Once you have started to build a rapport with your partner, lead the conversation to more business-related questions.
- Make sure there is an even exchange of dialogue. Pose a question or make a point, and let the other person respond.
- Ask about the challenges and needs your partner faces in his or her organization or industry. This will give you an opportunity to establish common ground and, if appropriate, to offer ways in which you’ve solved similar problems.
- Ask open-ended questions to engage the other person. Questions that elicit more than one-word answers will gain you more information.
- Ask more-specific questions to get more-specific answers.
- English may not be your partner’s first language, so please remember to speak slowly and clearly, or converse in a common language.
Follow up with individuals with whom you made a connection.
- If you feel that there is the possibility of furthering a relationship with a contact, express that to the person during your session. Be direct: let him or her know that you would like to have another meeting or follow-up call, and propose a date and time.
- If you are registered for multiple sessions, be aware that you may encounter the same person, and prepare for that possibility. A second session with the same person is an opportunity to expand on your initial conversation and further build rapport.
- The key to making the most of Speed Networking is to follow up with your contacts over time to develop credible business relationships.
- Registration will be onsite, but there is no fee to participate. Each session will last one hour, and we will need a one-hour commitment from each participant. Admittance is on a first-come, first-served basis; once capacity is reached, participants will be asked to return for a different session time.