If the thought of busting into a group of strangers for the purposes of networking instils fear, then the CCI Speed Networking Series is a great way to conquer the terror.
CCI Manager, Marketing Operations Corporate Communications Charles Kobelke says networking is essential but not everyone has the skills to make the most of the opportunities to meet people.
That’s how the Quick Connect event on October 11 can fill the void – it allows participants to introduce themselves to other keen networkers in two-minute “get to know each other” bouts of conversation before you move to the next person.
With the event capped at 100 people, you’re set to meet a smorgasbord of potential businesses opportunities across a diverse range of professions from plumbers to lawyers and everyone in between.
Kobelke, who is organising the event, says one of the problems with networking is that it becomes a “business card on the plate” affair, with people connecting you to their social media, but without any conversation.
“I went to a networking lunch and I arrived a bit late and by the time I’d met two people at the table I already had 10 business cards flung over the table onto my plate,” he says.
“During lunch, I introduced myself to everyone. Before I’d even done that introduction my LinkedIn already had two people from the table that had linked me without even having a conversation.
“It was good they were using LinkedIn, but it would have been better for them to say hello and have a conversation so there is something you can build a relationship from.”
Kobelke, who has attended hundreds of networking events in his career, says people often tend to stick with people they know at networking functions rather than making themselves known to potential clients or customers.
“I saw this guy trying to work the room. He walked up to a group and no one moved, they were all around this little circle. He moved his way in a little bit and waited for that laugh that always comes. He did the “ha ha ha” and everyone stopped and looked at him. He did the half smile then legged it.”
Kobelke introduced himself to the guy, found out what he did, then introduced him to representatives from companies relevant to what he did.
“It’s that easy access, that introduction is the piece that seems to be missing when it comes to networking,” Kobelke says.
“Somewhere along the line we’ve lost that ability to just break the ice.”
“With this event, you won’t have time to worry about anything. You have time to say your name, what you do and what you’re all about and if you can get all that out in a minute you’re doing pretty well.
“It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be fun and it will give you opportunities to build on long after the night is over.”
► CCI’s first Quick Connect event was a sell-out – don’t miss out, get your tickets to the next event in the series here.