Speed dating provides the only benefit of a blind date (meeting someone new) with an easy getaway plan. Every 90 seconds, you get to move on to someone new. It’s low-risk, it’s low-cost and there is always the chance that you might meet someone that is a great fit for you.

The dating world may not be so different from the business world. Both business owners and clients are trying to find the right match. Sales reps are sent on cold calls to try to lure a client, just like singles often hit the night scene, hoping to attract a partner.

Once you find a potential connection, it’s time to move things on to the next level. This is true in the dating world, but it is also the next step in the business world. It’s what people in business refer to as networking, and it sometimes feels a lot like speed dating.

Recently, members of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce hosted an event where participants could experience the convenience of speed dating in combination with person-to-person interactions in a speed networking event.

The concept was, in fact, quite similar to speed dating. The 80 professionals in attendance were coordinated to meet and exchange information in 90 second intervals. With promotional pens and business cards handy, every attendee seemed energized as they exchanged names and credentials.

The event lasted for an hour and a half, allowing businesses and potential clients to make contacts, exchange information and plan to meet again later. It may be hard to measure the collective impact of the networking that took place.

While there will always be a risk when a business and a new client move forward together, the concept of speed networking alleviates at least some of the effort of making a new business contact.

Sales managers know that it may take several cold calls, either in person or over the phone, before face-to-face contact is made. One of the most important benefits of a speed networking event is the immediate personal contact. It saves both parties money and effort in their search for business partners.

Another important benefit is the time saved for attendees. A business may spend countless hours trying to find a vendor that meets their needs, but in 90 seconds, they may get an impression that tells them whether a vendor would be a good fit.

In 90 minutes, you may make contacts that grow your business, find solutions in time-saving services or learn new ways to network from the business representatives you meet.

Jen Roup
Director of Client Acquisition

Jen Roup is the Director of Client Acquisition at SJC Marketing, where she works closely with clients to implement effective marketing strategies and create original content.