As the economy slows down and reports coming out every day about companies cutting jobs it may be time to dust off that rolodex and look for some new contacts to put into it.
This past week I attended a local (Madison, WI) speed networking event (about 100 attended). Chairs were set up in U shape and attendees had 3 minutes to talk before the whistle blew and you move on to the next person.
I have attended these in the past and every time I make some great new connections. If you are planning on attending a speed networking event keep the following in mind:
1. Have your 30 second elevator speech ready. Treat it like an interview. Start with a hand shake and end with a hand shake. Sit up straight and give lots of eye contact to the person you are speaking with.
2. Have follow up questions ready to roll! Are you from the area? What are your hobbies? How did you find your current job?
3. If you receive a business card follow up with an email to them several days after the event. Review Linkedin.com to see if they are a member and ask them to join your network.
If you have never attended a speed networking event before I highly recommend it, because you never know who might be able to help you or how you can help someone else out in the future.
Good Blog post on Networking...