Sunday, May 27, 2007

Round Table Networking

In my previous post today, I talked about people sitting next to each other at networking events.

Now I want to focus on a group that has it figured out.

WEN - The Women's Entrepreneurial Network to be exact.

This 360+ member organization in NW Ohio offers five networking opportunities per month and the lunchtime session in Toledo had reached such success that a problem was created.

You see, somewhere between 70-100 people are showing up. You question, "So what?"

The so what factor is that in the past, everyone got an opportunity to have 20 seconds to introduce themselves, their company name and one thing they needed from the audience. With people passing the microphone, and getting ready to speak, figure only two people per minute made intros. For those of you math whizzes out there, that's somewhere around 35-50 minutes of individual intros. Introductions generally began at shortly after noon, leaving little time for other WEN announcements at the end at 1 PM.

The two Co-directors, Linda Everhardt Kardux and Linda Fayerweather, put their heads together and came up with a solution.

Now, we all get to say just our name and company name. (Figure 5 to 6 people per minute.) Then, at each round table, each person gets two minutes to talk about what they do just to the people at the table.

Obviously, it makes sense to sit at a table where you don't know anyone, or at least some of the people. Or your in-depth commercial falls on ears that already know you.


Without saying so, the Linda's figured out a way to get people to sit with those they don't know.


Linda Fayerweather, Editor said...

Hey, Debby, thanks for your great explanation of the meetings. Having a Board of Action that supported this way of doing the meetings made it even better.

Sandy of Sandy's Stuff for Women said...

When WEN first started doing this, my first (narrow) thought was, "But I want everyone in the room to hear my whole message."

Duh! It's like identifying a target market - let just one small market hear your message and everything else grows from that.

You done good, Lindas!