Speed Dating Appointments Tips

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


  1. These are great tips Mary Jo. Focusing on the long-term relationship is a wonderful point and takes the pressure off of trying to accomplish a specific end goal, such as “inking a deal” as you say.

    • Mary Jo Manzanares says

      I really think it’s all about the relationship. Speed dating is just the first introductory step.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Mary Jo! It’ll be my first TBEX and your tips definitely help since I’ve never done any speed dating before and wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s good to know a bit more about how it’ll work before going into it.

    • Mary Jo Manzanares says

      Glad they tips helped, Kim. Every speed dating event runs just a tad differently, and we’re trying to incorporate the best options we can.

  3. Thanks for all of the info. This will be my first time at TBEX and first time speed dating. Looking forward to utilizing all of your tips!

    • Mary Jo Manzanares says

      Speed dating can be fun, Chrissy. Try to figure what your goals are and make the first steps.

  4. Jeannine Feyen says

    Mary Jo and organizers, this Speed Dating platform and functionality is really helpful. It was super easy to get appointments locked up, and I’m still able to book – even while everyone’s getting booked up:) Cheers, jeannine

    • Mary Jo Manzanares says

      So glad to hear that, Jeannine. I hope some of those appointments are just what you’re looking for.

  5. Jill Browne says

    Hi, I haven’t registered for speed dating, but I may want to. How? Thanks!

    • Christopher Castro says

      Hi Jill, the software will be opened about a month out from the show. Sponsors will have tables, and tables are also available for PR/Industry to purchase each day. If you are a travel blogger, you will be able to request meetings with anyone that has a table.

      • Jill Browne says

        Thanks, Christopher.

        In registering for either this or Toronto TBEX (can’t remember which), I didn’t sign up for speed dating and was hoping afterwards that I hadn’t made a fatal error. Glad to hear the registration opportunity is still there. Thanks for your explanation.

  6. Hi Mary Jo and others,

    I am unclear on how to sign up for speed dating on Presdo, any tips?




  1. […] and if you are unsure how it works, TBEX Conference Director, Mary Jo Manzanares, has posted some tips on how to get the most from it.The latest news from TBEX is that El Celler de Can Roca, the second […]

  2. […] Speed Dating appointments are pre-scheduled and timed and are an ideal way to make new business contacts and to discuss interesting offers. Make the best use of your limited time by being prepared – do your research and come ready to talk business. Bring plenty of business cards, copies of or links to your media kit, and any other information that might be helpful. Remember, though, that most exhibitors are just like you and don’t want to lug a bunch of paper around. […]

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