The appointments give businesses that sell everything from janitorial services to computer parts an opportunity to connect with other businesses and governments interested in their goods or services.
“This unique event is a huge draw, attracting buyers and sellers from as far away as San Diego, Long Beach and other communities across our region,” said Heidi Marshall, the commissioner for the Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade, which is hosting the event with the SBA and other partners.
Speed dating networking activity
The third annual Southern California Procurement, Trade & Manufacturing Summit will run from 8 a.m. at the Riverside Convention Center in downtown Riverside.
Matchmaking appointments between vendors and large businesses and governments are filling up fast, and interested participants should register immediately.
Your job as a speed networking host is to create situations that force people to meet others, without the forced situations being extremely awkward.
Some of the easiest ways to do this include assigned seating, clear evening structure and “social lubricant” in the form of alcohol!
The key is the first questions, which needs to be the toughest one, the one that everybody wants to know the answer for and the one that people gossip about. As the audience gasps and holds their breath at the audacity of me to ask the question everybody wants asked but nobody dares to.
Then, I keep on digging deeper with follow up questions that doesn’t let the boss off the hook but forces him/her to explain their actions and address the consequences. Personality Tests Personality tests like MBTI or Belbin are great, non intrusive ice breakers, in which team members get an insight in the personality type and preferred styles of their colleagues.
Breaking down traditional networking breaks Although networking breaks over coffee or buffet lunches do provide opportunities for attendees to get to know each other, they are far too short to allow delegates to have meaningful conversations.
And there’s no way for people to find the right people to talk with.
We used to think that people just came to conferences to listen and learn, not network, and so we didn’t give it a lot of thought beyond the usual coffee breaks and receptions.
Now we know that this isn’t true, that participants want to network and socialize in order to create business connections with others.
Part of the answer to this question will determine how you time your event and set it up, such as providing childcare and the type of introduction you give.