Speed Networking event connects Grand County businesses
May 22, 2014
Speed networking combines musical chairs with a business card swap, along with a 30-second window to make a sales pitch. Representatives from more than 40 area businesses gathered to participate at the annual event at Fontenot's Seafood & Grill in Winter Park on Wednesday evening, May 21.
In its ninth year, Maria Chavez, membership services director at the Winter Park/Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce organizes the event. She thinks the timing is right.
"It's a great time of year for it," she said. "During the shoulder season things aren't so crazy."
Catherine Ross, executive director of the Chamber, reminded the participants that this wasn't just a casual event.
“Anytime you can bring a diverse collective of businesses together, it’s a powerful thing.”
Channel 18, presenting sponsor
"You're not 'speed dating,'" she said before the timer began. "You're trying to be married. You are trying to find a business partner for life."
Andy Peterson, aka "Minister Pete," was up to that challenge. He was there to let folks know that he performs wedding ceremonies at the historic Fraser Mercantile building.
This is how it works: two people from each table of four rotate while two stay put and receive the next business representative. A cowbell and a harmonica sound the passing of 30 seconds, with varying levels of success.
Katherine Mowrey, of Epic Mountain Sports in Winter Park, has attended the free event several years. "It's a lot of fun," she said. "I'm always hoarse afterwards. It's very action-packed."
The 40 businesses covered a wide variety of services, from wealth management and insurance to landscaping and plumbing.
Mike Turner of Grand County TV18, was the presenting sponsor of the evening.
"I believe in the power of networking," he said. "Anytime you can bring a diverse collective of businesses together, it's a powerful thing," he said.