Having attended the 4th Speed Networking Night, organized by the British, French, German, Italian, and Spanish Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the Philippine-Netherlands Business Council, last September 22 at the Makati Diamond Residences, was quite a feather in my cap. It was the perfect occasion for a budding entrepreneur like me to expand my network and talk about my enterprise. Certainly a training to get out of one’s comfort zone and be inclined to speak with people from different industries.
Basically, the speed-networking event functions like a speed-dating event, where it involves the round-robin approach. Uniquely enough, the 4th SNN played Beyoncé’s line in the song Irreplaceable “To the Left, To the Left” to signal the participants to move to another chair and speak with a new person after four minutes. During the four-minute tête-á-tête, participants briefly greet each other and introduce their company or brand for the purposes of unlocking new relationships with potential business partners, expanding clientele, and exposing their own companies.
The enthusiasm of the crowd prevailed among the participants of the 4th SNN. Those who were probably initially hesitant in committing themselves in this kind of event got carried away and became eager to interact with the rest of the participants.
Different industries were well represented by locals and expats alike. I got the chance to speak with directors, heads of sales, VP for events managing, property consultants, relocating consultants, business development officers, financers, marketing officers, PR consultants, investment officer, and a CEO. An acquaintance also mentioned that someone who organizes a nude painting event was present at the SNN! Indeed, a diverse bunch of people you can rub elbows with. Each one I’ve met cited their expertise or their best products, so I came up with a list of people to keep in touch with.
Atty. Tony Abad, hosting the 4th Speed Networking Night
Here are five tips to keep in mind when attending events like the speed networking:
5. Initiate an interesting conversation
Many people would like to do it by the book by simply stating their name, company, and position, but if you want people to remember you, share something that might pique their interest. In my case, since I am engaged in freelance work and operate a few enterprises, I said, “I wear many hats, but tonight, I am covering this event for a Philippine-based blog.” (This has been tweaked so many times, otherwise I would have sounded like a robot.) Have an ‘introduction template’ ready so that you maximize time for other important details that you want to share.
At the same time, hear out their equally interesting bits of information about themselves, which brings me to my next tip.
4. Maximize those magical four minutes where you expose your brand or company
Then try to relate ideas or previous experiences that you have encountered with regard to the service that the other person offers or the industry that he or she belongs to. In that way, you completely engage the other person, strengthen your exchange, and increase your chances of getting contacted in the future. The challenge, though, is making your voice as audible as you can, because everyone is talking at the same time!
3. Prepare business cards
This is essential. How could I even have almost forgotten mine? Spare yourself from printing your cards. Have a QR code which one can scan in his or device to capture info (comes in handy when you run out of cards). Many thanks to Pointwest Technologies for creating the app where it includes a function to scan a QR code.
2. Keep in touch with the people whom you interacted with
Shoot them an SMS or email (on a business day), refreshing their memory about your pleasant interaction with them. Take note of the companies whose advocacy matches yours. They are good resources for expansion and support.
1. Most importantly, enjoy events like this
Your attendance is rewarding in itself because you’d always learn something from the people you come across with.
Raymond Posadas is from Pointwest Technology, the company who developed the 4th SNN app.
The 4th SNN, which was held on a Friday, was a great way to cap off the week (kudos, all Six Chambers!). I am sure the participants went home with richer knowledge and experiences. Some were even luckier, including my newfound friend from Indonesia, who bagged the grand prize–a round trip to Europe!
A heartfelt thanks to the sponsors who have made this event a successful one!
- Etihad Airways, the official airline sponsor
- Major Sponsors: EBCI Travel and Tours, KMC Savills, Parkway Corporate Center, Paul Boulangerie, Philippine Retirement Authority, Seasia Nectar Port Services Inc
- Minor sponsors: Deutsche Bank, Dutch Windmill Gourmet
- For the night’s brews: Danone Universal Robina Beverages, Fundador, Paulaner, Premium Wine Exchange, Twinings, Wine Depot
- For the sponsors who added thrill to the participants by raffling off prizes: 7 Stones Boracay Suites, Brotzeit, Buffet 101, Frappe La Rue, Summit Hotels and Resorts, Tefal, Zalora
- For the event’s digital partner: Pointwest
Have you been to a networking event before? Any tips to add here? Tell us in the comments!