By Rebecca Bertoldi
On April 5th, the San Francisco chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted an event where local freelancers, job seekers, and agencies could get together to try a different spin on making connections: Speed Networking
The evening started with casual networking over hors d’oeuvres and beverages as we welcomed people into the gorgeous General Assembly space, complete with breathtaking city views. There was an excited buzz to the air as networkers registered and grabbed their name badges with various industry and experience level stickers.
Once everyone was seated at their tables, we learned that half of us would move from table to table as the other half served as hosts. Before we knew it, the speed networking began!
As we moved through the tables, we began meeting professionals from many different industries, roles, and companies. We each started with our “elevator pitch,” opening up the conversation while keeping us focused on our own specific career and business goals.
Although there was a very limited time for each of us to talk, the fast-paced structure made it much easier to meet people and get past the “small talk” that prevails at typical networking events. We each had a turn to speak for two minutes and the last minute we were able to explore if there were ways to work together – it was extremely effective!
After the first round, we had a short break to mingle while the event sponsor, Equinox, raffled off passes and memberships to their club. Woo hoo! A reward for all of this quick thinking and collaboration. Once the second session was starting, everyone eagerly got back to their seats (having gotten rid of their initial networking jitters) and settled in ready to meet even more people.
As a first-time “speed networker,” I found the experience to be fun and engaging! I was able to have conversations with marketers of all levels from companies in and out of my industry. It was great meeting with other professional marketers, connecting with them on LinkedIn and joining their conversations on social media platforms.
I’m so happy I went! Were you there, too? Share your experience below, and don’t forget to check out more upcoming events!