This concept works best with speed dating because it’s easy to separate the groups into “male” and “female.” The speed networking has one flaw and that is everyone is interested in meeting everyone else whereas speed dating obviously, the guys are only interested in the girls and vice versa. So in speed networking, it’s only possible to meet half the attendees. Most Chambers of Commerce will do speed networking a few times a year to solve this problem. You will need some people to volunteer to be the “networking police” to help anyone who may be confused. Also have name tags for the students. So in a nutshell this is how it works:
- Set up a bunch of tables with 2 seats at each table.
- Mark one chair “STOP” and the other “GO”.
- Have everyone just randomly take a seat and let them settle down
- Explain the Process as follows:
◦ When the bell rings, the people in the chairs marked “STOP” will have 4 minutes to talk about themselves
◦ The bell will ring to let them know when 4 minutes is over
◦ The people in the chairs marked “GO” will start talking and have 4 minutes to talk about themselves
◦ The bell will ring to let them know when their 4 minutes is over
◦ Announce that it is time for all the people in chairs marked “GO” to go to next table (moving to the next table clockwise usually speeds up the process)
◦ Give them 30 seconds to settle
◦ Ring bell to repeat process
- Have fun
Notes / Comments / Ideas
- Never talk more than your 4 minutes, equal time is important
- If you’re in the “GO” seat, move when the bell rings, don’t linger. If someone doesn’t move in time, have the Networking Police physically move them to the next chair. It’s actually pretty funny when this happens.
- Have the students think about what they are going to say ahead of time, 4 minutes goes by quickly. Start with standard facts: name, year, option, and classes, then expand into clubs, fraternities, sports etc… You’re looking for common bonds and how (or if) you can help each other. No one is interested in philosophical mumbo jumbo.
- Discussing politics and religion is not allowed. This is always good advice if you’re trying to make friends.
- Prizes for Most Talkative, Slowest to Move, and A Fake GPS for not following directions. Everyone had a great time.