IPAC SASK SPEED NETWORKING EVENT
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
On Tuesday, September 27th, IPAC Saskatchewan will be hosting its inaugural “Speed Networking” event. The event will be attended by numerous senior-level public administrators from the Provincial Government and the City of Regina. Ministries and Agencies including Corrections & Policing, Public Service Commission, Justice & Attorney General, Social Services, Government Relations, Finance, Economy, and Environment will be represented. Tanessa Boutin (one of the event organizers) from the Public Service Commission states, “We wanted to put together an event that would provide a new and different opportunity to expose both senior public servants and new and upcoming professionals to each other. Speed networking is an alternative, and hopefully more relaxed, way of doing this where we will get everyone interacting.”
Speed networking is a derivative of “speed dating” and is essentially a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts. The practice involves multiple people gathering in a single space to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during set periods of time. During an interaction, attendees share their professional backgrounds and goals. Networkers are generally seeking exposure to professionals and contacts that they may normally not have opportunities to interact with outside of a structured environment.
For attendees there are both benefits and risks. The benefits range from the ability to meet more people in a given amount of time than would typically be possible to eliminating awkward conversation exits as there is never a need to bow out of a conversation gracefully. The risks typically involve attendees trying to speed-track longer-term relationships and focusing on quantity over quality. It is absolutely necessary for participants to follow-up with each other subsequent to the event if they truly want to establish a relationship.
At speed networking events it is important to note that established principles of good networking apply. For example, an attitude of giving and not pushing business cards or marketing materials at people is still appropriate.
For those planning on attending the event on September 27th, participants will be split up into both Mentors and Mentees. The session will be organized as follows:
- Find a seat with a label matching your colour and title
- Clock starts at 5:45pm and the formal networking will run for 1 hour
- Mentees move chairs, mentors will stay seated
- All networking will be face-to-face, one-on-one
- Mentors and Mentees will have 4 minutes with each other
- Movement will be prompted by the host
- The 4 minutes will begin as soon as Mentees are seated subsequent to moving from their last networking conversation
- Questions will be provided on a screen and paper on the tables to assist in prompting discussion.
This format will provide a unique structure within which all attendees will get some time with each other to exchange information about themselves along with some of the knowledge that Mentees have developed throughout their years of work in public administration. Ultimately, the session is designed to help all of those attending to reach greater potential as public servants through the exchange of knowledge.