Published on Feb 8, 2016
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Our wedding industry got a little intimate with some Business Speed Dating at the Hunter Valley Visitor Centre Love is in the Air Wedding Display’s official launch last Thursday.
Cessnock City Mayor Cr Bob Pynsent opened the event, highlighting the contribution the industry makes to our region by supporting economic growth and employment opportunities.
He then handed over to Council’s Economic Development Manager Jane Holdsworth who took the love-themed networking up a notch with some Business Speed Dating which gave every attendee the opportunity to deliver a 30 second, one-on-one sales pitch.
Ms Holdsworth laid the ground rules and shared her advice to get the most out of networking, including:
- Have a 30 second elevator speech ready and down pat: 5 seconds to say what you do, and 25 seconds to sell how well you do it.
- Always, bring business cards to networking events.
- Listening, not talking, is the key to good networking. You can only recognise an opportunity if you are listening out for it.
- If you say you are going to follow up the next day, follow up the next day!
- Set your goals before going to a networking function – e.g. I will make two appointments and get 10 business cards off people to follow up.
- When you go networking, remember you are working! If you want to eat and drink and have a nice chat, you can do that at home with your family who are far more important.
- Enjoy the experience; remember other networkers need your business as much as you need theirs and small businesses get 86 per cent of all their customers from networking.
Feedback from some of the 50-plus attendees confirmed the concept was a hit.
“Shae and myself would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who worked so hard to bring everything together for last night’s Speed Dating Networking Session! This was a fantastic idea and a great opportunity for all of the small businesses in the Hunter Region. I know I personally took a lot from it and have already received emails from other suppliers who I met last night,” Kathryn Notley, The Sebel Kirkton Park
“I enjoyed the speed dating. The best part in my opinion was that I was able to get my business name out there in a good way that was also a social event, not canvassing each supplier individually. I was also very happy being new to the area, that I was given the opportunity to meet likeminded people within the industry. I am sure that I will be able to follow up with the connections I made last night,” Trish Wise, Marriage Celebrant
“Tonight’s business speed dating event impressed me in its effective planning, thorough preparation and engaging delivery. It was clear that your team put in a huge effort and it surpassed my expectations,” Marc Cottee, Above & Beyond Entertainment
Like the Hunter Valley Visitor Centre on Facebook to stay up to date with what’s on in our region.
Check out the slideshow for photos from the event.