By Alycia Majorkiewicz-Ata, piece featured on CAHI.org
Way above street level, with a view of the Vancouver skyline, a group of about 100 marketers gathered on the 15th floor of The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver to participate in the Speed Networking for Marketers portion of the 2013 BCAMA VISION Conference. After a day of listening to 10 fascinating speakers with 400 other attendees, the group had learned, had grown and now was ready to connect.
Participants stood on blue lines taped to the floor, in two rows, across from one another. The directions were easy: a question would be announced, and each person would share their answer with the person standing directly across from them. They had three minutes to chat and then there would be three “beeps”, which would be the cue for each person to slide to the left and continue with the same process – each time with a different person. This was clearly not the typical networking format that we all recognize. This was definitely a BCAMA twist on networking!
Great questions were asked, including indicating a couple of bucket list activities you wanted to do in the next year or two, to which a variety of answers were overheard, including “Get my husband to quit smoking” and “Skydiving”.
Two other great questions: explain the most influential person in your career/work life, and describe what you wanted to be when you grew up. You can only imagine the responses overheard.
Despite an entire day of mingling during the conference, it was encouraging to see the great energy in the room, especially from a group of women who were not participating with the larger group, but were still answering the questions amongst themselves.
One of that group’s favourite questions was what each person most liked about themselves. Those answers included “I encourage positively”, “I’m not afraid of failure or change” and “I like to problem-solve”. It’s not every day you are exposed to such powerful and inspiring statements!
With such great questions asked and equally great answers given, each set of partners were quick to begin chatting. Yet, no matter how rousing the questions or how intense the answers, when the crowd heard the “beep, beep, beep” they all moved one step to the left, excited to begin the process once again.
Alycia Majorkiewicz-Ata (@alyciaata) is a member of the BCAMA Marketline Committee, aims to be foodie extraordinaire and is obsessed with Vancouver summers. She is currently Marketing Communication Coordinator at Port Metro Vancouver.