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At the end of the event participants submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to provide their contact information to.
If there is a match, contact information is forwarded to both parties.
Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.
At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel.
It's a good tool for business people to apply the "visibility" stage of the VCP Process --Visibility, Credibility, Profitability--that I mentioned in my past article, " Build Relationships that Last ." The potential downside to speed networking is if someone thinks this is "all" they have to do to network effectively.
The key to making speed networking work, is to take those contacts and develop them over time into "credible" relationships that lead to "profitable" referral partners.
Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.
Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables (it is Dutch).