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Businesses shown concept of speed networking
[September 11, 2012]

Businesses shown concept of speed networking

EFFINGHAM, Sep 10, 2012 (Effingham Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Sheryl Brummer sells monogramming for purses and handbags. On Friday, she met a lot of new people.

That's because Brummer was one of about three dozen businessmen who participated in a speed networking exercise at the monthly First Friday luncheon sponsored by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.

"I've only been doing this for a year," said Brummer, an independent senior creative leader for Initials Inc. "Networking like this helps me talk to more people about the business I represent." Former Microsoft project manager Tom Jaffee generally is credited with altering the concept of speed dating to fit the business world. Although the mechanics of speed dating and networking are similar, the goals are markedly different. In speed dating, the participant uses the exercise as a process of eliminating potential dates, while speed networking is used to maximize the number of contacts made.

In Friday's exercise, participants were seated at a table. The participants had one minute to hand out business cards and another 30 seconds to tell tablemates about themselves.

Selected participants would then move to another table, where the process would be repeated with various twists. For example, participants at one table might be assigned to share one thing they would like people to know about them.

Chamber president Norma Lansing said the exercise enabled participants to reach potential customers on a more personal level.

"I think it makes people stop and think about themselves," Lansing said. "We're used to talking about our businesses, but the other part is what about you. It's a way to personalize our business relationships." It wasn't only new businessmen who derived benefit from the exercise.

"You make a lot of contacts very quickly," said Chad Koester, assistant general manager of Patton Printing & Graphics. "I've never done this before, but it's an easy way to break the ice." ___ (c)2012 the Effingham Daily News (Effingham, Ill.) Visit the Effingham Daily News (Effingham, Ill.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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