Have you been making appointments for the first TBEX Speed Dating event?  Speed Dating will be held on the Expo Floor on Sunday, June 17th, 10:15am – 12:15 pm.  You can learn more about it by logging into your account and setting up your profile on the TBEX website; we recommend you start with this overview here.  The sessions are one-on-one pre-set appointment that last eight minutes, then allow another two minutes for bloggers to get to their next appointment.

This type of networking event is fairly standard at industry events, but we know that some attendees may not be familiar with the process.  Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of the session:

Do your research: Since you’ll know who you’re scheduled to meet with, do a little research on the person and/or destination.  Find out what common ground you might have and get some ideas on how it would be a good fit.  Even if it doesn’t seem like a good fit initially, you might be surprised once you dig a little deeper.  Sometimes the best connections take a bit of digging.

Focus on the relationship: In an eight-minute session it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to close a deal.  So spend time forming a relationship that you can follow up with later.  And even if there’s nothing that works right now, you never know when that can change.  Think of relationships for the long term rather than the immediate.

Business cards and media kits: Make sure that you’ll be remembered after the appointment is over with business cards and/or media kits.  But remember, most people don’t like a lot of paper to pack up to take home.  Think digital whenever possible.

Maximize your eight minutes: Know what you want to accomplish so you can use your time well, whether it’s making a connection, getting information, or making a pitch.  Remember that the other person will have goals for the meeting as well, so don’t monopolize the whole time.  The idea is to make a connection, plant a seed of an idea, and then move on.

Follow up: This is where the real works comes, whether it’s using the information to create your personalized database, following up for possible opportunities, or continuing the relationship in general.

Photo credit:  SXC