Speed Networking: How Virtual Networking Hours Are Bringing People Together

For me, business networking used to mean early morning meetings, a Metro ride into Washington DC, several cups of coffee, lots of face-to-face introductions and a steady exchange of business cards. All told, each networking event required a three- to four-hour investment of time…until I discovered the George Washington University (GWU) LinkedIn Virtual Networking Hour, a monthly speed networking event sponsored by the Office of Alumni Career Services.

Over the course of one lunch hour, participants select one or more industry clusters they would like to network with. They are then randomly paired with fellow Colonials (i.e., GWU alumni) for several 8-minute text-based conversations. Participants exchange career goals and advice, contact information and connections. In lieu of business cards, the Colonials connect with one another on LinkedIn and, in some cases, make arrangements to continue their conversations in person over coffee or in email.

While I am still a proponent of face-to-face networking, I’ve come to appreciate digital technology as a tool for more efficiently making new connections and expanding my business network. During the last few months, I’ve made some valuable connections and have given and received helpful career information…all over a fresh cup of coffee from the comfort of my home office.

For more on business networking, please see:
Spring Is a Great Time to Revitalize Your Professional Network
Your Brand Story in 30 Seconds: “What Do You Do?”
The Power of a Personal Connection
Why Likability Is the Key to Your Personal Success
How to Make the Most of Your Network

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply