5 Critical Elements to Hosting a Successful Speed Networking Event

So, you want to host a speed networking event. That’s great! Speed networking is an efficient and effective way for professionals to get to know one another.

And although speed networking can be as simple as having participants rotate each round, there is software designed to match like-minded individuals and take it to the next level. Allow us to introduce you to predictive matchmaking analytics. Predictive matchmaking analytics allow your attendees to pre-select the types of people they’re interested in meeting. It’s completely customized instead of totally random.

But whether you use our program or not—although we hope you will—we continue to educate event organizers from around the world about the ways to host a successful speed networking event.

Our founder, Michael Slater, has nearly conducted over 1,000 events in his career. Here are his top 5 takeaways.

1. Planning

Who is attending? What type of event is this going to be? Mentoring, buyer/seller, general networking?  Each one takes on a different approach and must be carefully thought through.

What do you want the outcome to be?

2. Marketing 

Clearly explain the purpose of the event. Include pictures that illustrate what the event will be. Engage the invitees and emphasize why it’s critical to participate.

3. Logistics Planning

How will registration work? To charge or not to charge? Do you have a room layout? Other incidentals such as water stations, pens, paper, directional signs, etc.?

4. Facilitation

Identify a member of your organization that loves being in front of groups of people.  Give a 5-10 presentation of the event and how to make it successful for each individual.

The facilitator is in charge of ensuring people follow the instructions and keeps the event going. Strong leadership is key.

5. Handling matching hiccups

How will you handle mismatched people? What happens if someone doesn’t have a partner?

Coordinating an effective and successful structured networking program such as speed networking takes a well thought out process.

Simply throwing one together can lead to many issues and disgruntled participants only leading to lack of future participation. SpeedNetworking.com has conducted events for organizations of all shapes and sizes and from top level professionals to those just starting in their industry.  

With so many variables that go into a speed networking program, it’s critical to know your audiences and their needs for networking.