Experiential Networking: Connect – Collaborate – Grow
The first half of the meeting consists of every delegate pitching to the room, followed by an opportunity to nominate whoever you wish to meet during the break. The second half of the meeting gives us all the chance to hear a keynote presentation from a series of outstanding speakers, all of whom are briefed to give you something to take away and apply in your business.
A carefully-prepared table plan will ensure that you work in a well-balanced team of business people, exploring each other’s problems and generating realistic action plans. You present your business to your table, plus one or two challenges or problems you currently face. The other people on your table then throw ideas, suggestions and offers of help as a mini action plan is developed for you. And then you offer help as the others get their turn to open up and share their issues with the table. If all delegates are open-minded and collaborative, this exercise can be really constructive as working alliances can be formed.
This is a positive extravaganza of movements, presentations and card exchanges with the result that you meet every other delegate, somewhere, once. You present your business to a table of 6 or 7 other businesses and you listen in turn to each of the others on your table. Then you move – 7 times, delivering and hearing pitches on each table until your stamina is severely tested and you get ever more hoarse ! At the end of the evening, you will have over 50 business cards in your pocket and a huge opportunity to build on the early connections you have made.
Would You Recommend Me ?
In this exercise you deliver your pitch to a table of business people. And they proceed to tell you why they may or may not recommend you – in a totally constructive way of course. You can pick up some very useful advice regarding the way in which you deliver your pitch – as well as the content of your pitch. Do the others understand what you do, the benefits of what you do, and therefore what you are looking for ?
Pair and Share
Everyone is placed into a pair, preferably with someone they do not know particularly well, and they spend 10 minutes getting to know about each other’s business. Each person then presents their partner’s business to the whole room. This is the acid test which tells you how well your message is understood. After the break, each delegate has 2 one-to-one sessions during which time you can really drill down and learn how you can help each other.
This is so-called because it consists of a series of movements, followed by a nasty sting in the tail ! During this exercise you will meet a number of other networkers and perhaps learn more about each other than you expected. After the break we will visit the Networking Jungle, where we identify several networking beasts and we teach you how to deal with each one. Safari suits and mosquito-repellent are not compulsory.
Send Three And Fourpence, Going To A Dance
This exercise is a test of how well your message travels, with the fourth person in a chain getting to present your business to the room. There is much movement, colour-coding and card-swapping before arriving at the eventual presentation. You will also learn how this saying got its name.
Deck Of Cards
When you walk into the room, you are given a playing card. The number, colour and suit of your card determines with which other delegates you will network.
Ask Our Geeks
Instead of listening to a guest keynote speaker, we ask questions of our IT, computing, communications and digital specialists. The specialists are fined heavily for the over-use of jargon and techno-speak while the rest of us will come away with some very useful practical tips
The Knowledge Carousel
7 of our in-house specialists effectively deliver a series of mini clinics, as they move around from table to table – answering questions as opposed to delivering pitches. They get to raise their profile and everyone else gets 7 sets of free advice.
The Spanish Inquisition
This is a test of our questioning and listening techniques, so that delegates have information gleaned from them – this is instead of presenting usual pitches. Very little torture will be applied.
Hammering Out A Deal
This is a negotiation skills exercise, which includes an opportunity for role play. We explain the 7 standard stages of a negotiation in the first half of the meeting. In the second half, everyone is divided up into threes – a buyer, a seller and an observer – all of who have sight of different briefings on the same transaction. The buyer and seller the have 20 minutes to “do a deal” while the observer feeds back how they have performed against the standard stages. This is a great chance to learn techniques which can be applied to a number of different situations in business and in life.
This is an exercise for a smaller group, whereby delegates identify their strongest commercial relationships and their wish lists of contacts. The group then collaborates to find a way of matching up the two sets of lists. Only delegates who are fully prepared to open up and share information should participate in this exercise.
One-To-One Speed Networking
If a speaker does not appear, the show still has to go on – so we can always resort to a bout of speed networking. Every delegate gets to meet everyone else during a series of face-to-face quickfire presentations.