Awesome response to Chance2Meet Structured Networking at MarketMix

mm_iconLast week we completed the MarketMix 2011 conference organized by the Seattle chapters of the the American Marketing Association (PS AMA) and the Direct Marketing Association (SDMA). The event took place at the Bell Harbor Conference Center down by the water in Seattle. With over 350 attendees, 25 speakers and 20 sponsors it is the premier event for marketing professionals in the greater Seattle area.

While I had the opportunity to contribute on several projects at the conference, the one that meant most for own business was the introduction of the Chance2Meet structured networking tool.

Structured networking adds an important component to the networking experience by allowing the attendees to pre-book meetings that are then conducted at the event venue. Sometimes you hear the expression “speed networking” which to some extent explains what takes place, however with structured networking the focus isn’t on speed, but on engaging the right people.

What are the benefits of structured networking?

There are many benefits to structured networking, including the following:

  • You know beforehand that you will have valuable meetings at the conference
  • You hand-pick among the individuals you most want to network with
  • Your meetings are to-the-point and effective
  • You leave the conference with new business relationships

2011-03-09 MarketMix SN 01 (177x300)Who gains from structured networking?

When I get asked who benefits the most from structured networking I like to mention CEOs; CEOs are caught between the Board and the employees, they rarely have a peer to confide in or brainstorm with, their time in any company may be very limited and the need to network for their career is pronounced, and finally, they don’t participate in meet-and-greet networking – they just don’t have the time. When CEOs get the opportunity to meet with other CEOs, creativity spark!

That said, anyone will benefit from structured networking. The important component is that you create a profile that expresses 1) what you can contribute and 2) what you want to achieve with the meetings. The system will help you and all other attendees find and set up the meetings that make sense.

Even if you don’t have explicit goals, just letting others know that you are interested in “general networking” allows them to see that you are open to invitations.

A fundamental idea with structured networking is that you are in control of whom you meet. The recipient will of course need to approve the meeting, but even if he or she declines, there are many other individuals with objectives that match yours. Whether you choose to only use structured networking or only have a few pre-booked meetings and spending the rest of the time in meet-and-greet mingling, you make the choice.

To learn more about structured networking, go to