Our successes

Organizing a Speed Meeting, Meeting Schedule or Revolving Networking Activity Is Easy with PairConnex

Speed meeting par PairConnex

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:

  • Speed meetings
  • Revolving networking
  • Revolving table lunch/dinner
  • Speed networking
  • Carousel meal
  • etc.

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:

  • The same people cannot encounter each other twice during the various rounds of meetings.
  • Competitors and/or people from the same company must be separated so that they do not encounter each other during one of the rounds.

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:

  • Automate the allocation of meetings in one click, regardless of the number of people per table and the number of rounds.
  • Easily create parameters for all restrictions that need to be respected, particularly people who can’t be placed together (example: separation of competitors).
  • Optimize the meetings suggested with PairConnex’s matchmaking algorithm, which takes the profile and goals of each participant into account.
  • The matchmaking criteria for each project are chosen and moderated directly by the organizers with the help of a matchmaking questionnaire that participants fill out upon registration.
PairConnex app

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:

  • Has to meet a potential client
  • Has to meet a potential supplier
  • Shares the same targets (referencing)
  • Is interested by the same challenges (complicity)
Spider Graph by PairConnex

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:

  • Club Richelieu Montréal benefitted from a monthly matchmaking schedule in which, every month, each member had to meet another member, and which included three matchmaking angles (personal interests, business interests, and philanthropic interests).
  • Moisson Rive-Sud called upon PairConnex to distribute the 110 participants of the presidents’ club lunch among 11 tables of 10 compatible people, including the added constraint of having a facilitator at each table.
  • The Association des gens d’affaires de Boucherville had organized a three-course (turns) revolving-table dinner in which the 66 participants were distributed among 11 tables of six people each, including an assigned facilitator at each table.
  • The Conseil Québécois du Loisir, for its “Journée nationale du loisir” conference, had organized a one-hour speed meeting networking event in which each of the 82 participants had five 10-minute meetings with another participant. The matchmaking had to respect certain goals, such as mixing participants from different regions and different organization types as much as possible.

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!

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