Speed Networking Session Plan

Follow-up to Busy Morning from Casey’s Blog


Creating Networking Opportunities: How Meeting Colleagues Can Benefit Your Staff


(5×15 minute sessions – roughly 12 people per session)

Get the group to quickly introduce themselves

First names only / Institution/ Who you Report To / One Thing That Would Improve IC in Your Institution Overnight

Open the session with a 2 – 3 min introduction on the subject

  • Getting people to make the connection between their job and the organisation’s messages
  • Understanding how their job fits with others
  • Knowing the best place to go for help and information
  • Knowing what others are doing so that you don’t do things twice
  • Lateral
    and vertical communication (i.e. not just managers and staff – but also
    people doing similar things in different departments)
  • Avoiding corporate speak
  • Take people away from their everyday environment – neutral territory
  • Relationship building – with teams and managers (trust)
  • Helping managers understand front-line issues

Contributions From the Group & Open Questions

  • What timing suits different types of people?
  • What kind of events might work at lunchtimes/ evenings?
  • What kind of topics would merit debate in your institution?
  • What are the benefits or regular vs irregular events?
  • What kind of facilities do you have on campus to support different kinds of events? Rooms/ catering/ AV?
  • How might this help deal with lack of communication between split sites?
  • What ideas do you have for running events on a small budget?
  • Big Bash Scenario – all staff, one afternoon, set budget – what do you do?
  • Speed-dating – who might this suit?
  • Staff conferences – what are the hot topics to cover?
  • How can you encourage accidental networking opportunities?
  • What kind of staff social space do you have?
  • Are there particular issues for campus and non-campus institutions?
  • Apart from events, are their other ways to bond the community?
  • What kind of staff clubs do you have?

NB: Help participants find something in common with another participant – help them to make contact after the session.

3 Responses to “Speed Networking Session Plan”
  1. Max Hammond says:

    help them to make contact after the session.

    Will that be for the speed-dating session?

  2. Antony Vila says:

    I’ve run a few internal speed networking events for companies so I thought I’d have a crack at the questions posed.
    Timings depends on the people. Employee types who see their work as their work will prefer it takes place in work time. Sometimes the entrepeneurial types can see their work time as sacred and prefer to do extra stuff out of hours. For employee led stuff like this, lunchtime or daytime is best in my opinion.

    I have run open debates without specific topic guidelines. People are encouraged not to just do a monalogue with their time – 30 seconds on what you do, then the rest of the time working out whether you can do something together.

    While you can do big bang one off events I would encourage regular meetings. If you’ve got a company or building with 150 employees and they meet once a month for 15, 5-minute meetings, it will still take best part of a year for everybody to meet each other. By creating a culture of open cross level communication I believe there are more motivational benefits to be had than simply having it as a querky part of an AGM.

    PA systems are a must – you have to be able break into conversations to tell people when it’s time to move on. You also need a room with a reasonably high ceiling. Depending on the numbers, you can reach a stage where people have to increase their volume to be heard over everybody else (which of course, increases the overall volume!). This is (as you’ve probably guessed) advice from experience.

    Catering – water on the tables – all that talking can get people quite parched.

    Small budget advice – buy a whistle

    I always use scorecards at my events – people fill in scorecards writing down the number of the person they meet, a score based on how likely they are to meet them again (or get in touch after the event) and any additional comments. Customers then type up these scorecards to find the full details of who they met. We then use the information of who has met whom to keep people away from those they have met at future events.

    Hope some of the above is helpful. If you’re interested, my company offers software to help run speed networking sessions, both internally for employees and for business-2-business.

    For more info, visit http://www.contact25.com

  3. girltherapy says:

    I’m about to organise such an event and am a total novice – the info is brilliant for me – thank you for posting,

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