I wrote this for the Polk County Business Journal, but wanted to post it on my blog, too. I think this is a great idea and if you're looking to make some business connections, you should plan to attend.
LAKELAND- The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Polk County will offer a new spin to an old business activity on March 7.
Business networking will be done in speedy fashion during the “Rapido Networking” event held 8:30- 10:30 a.m. at Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro.
The event is similar to speed dating, but with a business twist, said Ana Rivera, Chamber president and the event’s organizer.
“I attended a speed networking event in Brandon a while ago,” Rivera said. “It’s being done in larger cities.”
Just because Lakeland is a nice, quiet community doesn’t “mean we don’t have metropolitan people who live here” and could benefit from speed networking, she said.
Here’s how the event works:
Attendees pay a $5 entrance fee, which includes coffee and a coupon good for food discounts at Black & Brew.
Each person gets a name tag with several table numbers listed on it. Attendees go to their first assigned table and have two and a half minutes to introduce themselves and the company they work for and explain what they hope to get out of the event, Rivera said. After five minutes, attendees move on to the next table listed on their name tag and repeat the process.
“No one ends up talking to the same person the whole time, Rivera said. “Each person could get to meet up to 90 people.”
Rivera anticipates having 25 people attend the first event, which is open to everyone. For more information call Rivera, 863-838-2084 or visit the Chamber’s Web site: www.puertoricanchamberofcommercepolkcounty.org
Black & Brew is located at 205 E. Main St.