Speed networking programs generally involve people meeting each other one at a time for a short interval and then moving on to the next person in line.
They are fairly structured in the way people queue up to meet.
It's a good tool for business people to apply the "visibility" stage of the VCP Process --Visibility, Credibility, Profitability--that I mentioned in my past article, " Build Relationships that Last ." The potential downside to speed networking is if someone thinks this is "all" they have to do to network effectively.
The key to making speed networking work, is to take those contacts and develop them over time into "credible" relationships that lead to "profitable" referral partners.
Speed dating is done to eliminate potential suitors and keep from wasting time on people with whom you share no common interests and no mutual attraction.
The presumption is that you are going to follow up with only the ones you connect with during the exercise.
For example, one variation is to have two concentric circles of people.
The individuals sit across from one another and after the set time period--generally one or two minutes--the outside circle of people gets up and moves in one direction around the circle until everyone has met.