One of the concepts for networking activities that has been gaining in popularity for several years is one where participants take part in a series of pre-arranged meetings with other individuals. The concept is simple; at the beginning of the event, participants receive the list of meetings they will be attending. The list is usually presented by table number for every round of meetings. During the event, participants meet each person they have been matched with in succession by moving to the table they have been assigned for each round.
These activities have been given different names depending on the organizers and the goals of the event:
The concept originally became popular in the dating world under the name “speed dating.” These days, it’s also popular at recruitment events and job fairs, where it’s generally called “speed jobbing” or “speed interviewing.” The meetings can be conducted in pairs or in groups of multiple participants.
These activities are popular because they allow participants to have meaningful conversations with new people in a structured context with a predetermined time limit. It’s an easy and efficient way of meeting new people. As opposed to unstructured networking activities that require participants to take the first step towards new people and break the ice in order to get to know them, the first approach is much easier in this type of speed meeting activity.
Though participants really appreciate these types of activities, they are often a nightmare for the event organizers who have to orchestrate the meetings. Ask anyone who has had to manage this type of event in the past, and they will tell you just how many hours they had to spend manually creating the lists of matches. There are two main factors that create complications when planning of this type of matchmaking:
Even after that planning headache is over (after interminable hours of trial and error), there’s often still a major problem. In the vast majority of cases, the matches planned are not optimal, because they’re based on chance (random matching) or, at best, on the perception of the organizers. Even with a good deal of knowledge about the participants, matches created manually by the organizers remain biased because it’s impossible to know the exact details of every participant’s needs. There are tools that allow for the use of keywords to guide the matchmaking, but the matches proposed remain very simple, without the ability to dig into the depths of the profiles and the participants’ true goals.
Almost inevitably, this very basic matchmaking results in some of the participants being unsatisfied with the quality of the meetings they were offered. An activity that was meant to be fun and entertaining suddenly becomes stressful and unpleasant for the organizers, to the point that despite its popularity, many networking event organizers prefer to limit the availability of this type of activity, due to it being so onerous to organize.
Thankfully, with PairConnex, event organizers no longer have to avoid offering their participants this type of speed meeting activity. In fact, the smart matchmaking platform allows them to:
The platform instantly generates lists of meetings for each event. These lists are presented by participant, by round and by table. In short, the only thing the organizers have left to do is to welcome their participants and provide them with their meeting list.
More advanced options are also available. For example, a personalized web link could be sent to each participant explaining the reasons behind their matches. This explanation can be useful if the person:
So, not only will the activity be much easier to organize, but participants will be much more satisfied in the end because the quality of their meetings will have been enhanced by smart matchmaking. That’s why many organizations now call upon PairConnex to help them organize this kind of activity. For example:
These are but a few of the meeting schedule projects carried out by PairConnex. Next time you want to organize this kind of activity, remember that your first step is to call upon the PairConnex smart matchmaking experts! You won’t regret it, and your participants will be grateful!