Where did Speed Networking come from?

Adapted from Wikipedia.

Speed networking (or speed business meeting) is a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts.

Speed networking basically involves participants gathering together to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during a set period of time. During an interaction, participants share their professional backgrounds and business goals. Networkers are generally seeking exposure to new markets and/or expanding their pool of vendors.

Speed networking is often referenced as a derivative of speed dating, the round-robin approach to meeting potential suitors first developed by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo in the late 1990s.

Speed networking combines speed dating with business networking. It is thought to have started in the United States and/or the United Kingdom. Speed networking was first utilized during the early 2000s and began rising in popularity by the end of the decade

Credit for applying speed dating concepts to the corporate world has been attributed to Tom Jaffee, a founder of a speed-dating network. In the United Kingdom, speed networking was introduced by Michael Piddock, future founder of event technology company Glisser, to increase employee-to-employee connections in corporate events.

Although the techniques for speed dating and speed networking can be similar – participants paired or grouped together for the purpose of introduction – the practices differ in their end goals. Speed daters are trying to narrow down their choices by eliminating the unsuitable; conversely, speed networkers are trying to broaden their connections by increasing their exposure.

Speed networking is based on three models:

  • Round Robin – meeting random participants one-on-one sequentially.
  • Station-based – meeting specific participants based on pre-assignments.
  • Group-based – meeting with a preselected group.

Most speed networking events begin in an open room for Participants to mingle. The host then explains the structure of the event. The moderator will place time limits on the participants interactions, telling them when the time intervals have expired. if the event calls for participants to moved to preassigned tables or groups, the moderator will facilitate this.


Speed networking has many applications. Many organizations use speed networking to structure events: alumni associations, chambers of commerce, business associations, universities and trade shows. Events that benefit from speed networking include: membership drives, networking events, mentoring programs, career fairs, team building exercises and vendor pairings. When the speed networking goal is to find a job, the event is usually called “job dating”. Speed networking is particularly useful “when many organizations are gathering at large events.”

You can read the full article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_networking