As a relative newcomer to the recruitment industry when invited to attend my first speed networking event my mind boggled as to what lay ahead! Casting aside any preconceived notions we had of the related phenomenon speed dating, myself and my colleague Evelyn Robinson (Engineering Division) made the short trip to the refurbished Cork International Airport Hotel for the speed networking event hosted in association with the Cork Chamber of Commerce.
On arrival we were greeted by the staff of the Cork Chamber who provided us with all the equipment needed for speed networking – your name badge. What struck me straight away was that everybody is there with a common goal; to meet like-minded people looking to sell their services in the hope of a mutual need for those services. With the list of attendees available beforehand, a number of people I spoke with had people ‘targeted’ that they wanted to get acquainted with. To boost the success of speed dating this approach may be worth looking at!
To kick proceedings off three companies were afforded the opportunity to give a one minute pitch on their background and the services they provide – a great way to put your business in the spotlight especially for start-ups. We were then cast amongst the wolves for eight three minute rounds of speed networking. Within this timeframe you generally give a brief overview of who you work with and what services you provide, exchange business cards and move on to your next potential client at the sound of the bell.
After going the distance of eight full rounds I emerged not with a championship belt or first date but with eight new connections in the local area. A very successful event hosted in an outstanding venue. Our thanks is extended to both the Cork Chamber and the Cork International Airport Hotel for helping us to break our duck.
My top tips for speed networking
- Review the attendance list beforehand (if available)
- Bring plenty of business cards
- Follow up with new connections shortly afterwards – via phone/email or connect on LinkedIn
Michael O’Brien, Recruitment Consultant
Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group (Cork Office)
Tel: 021 4809118
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