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After a set time period of a few minutes, the host stops the first round of meetings.
Then either the inner or outer circle participants – or the front or back line of desks – moves to the next space.
Each table seats a specific number of participants, depending on attendance. Table assignments are often predetermined by computer software but other techniques can be used to determine the groups each attendee participates in.
Each participant at the table takes a few minutes – the length of these introductions can also be set – to introduce him or herself.
Speed mentoring events can be traced back to the architectural profession. Kim, through her work as the Intern Development Program (IDP) Washington State Coordinator advocated for interns to find a mentor outside their firm. At the 2007 National AIA Convention (San Antonio, TX), Kim and Waldrep co-presented a session entitled Speed Mentoring: Developing You, an Emerging Professional and over 100 attendees participated - representing the spectrum of interns to senior leadership.
At five minutes, the bell was rung again and one row of people moved two seats down. While they were not asked to rank their top choices, the idea was that if this exercise were repeated at a local chapter or in a large office, the interns could rank their mentor preferences.
More importantly, the participants took the idea home to implement in various settings.
Some universities have also established speed mentoring events including: Speed networking has advantages over typical meet-and-greet events.
And likewise, the mentor could rank their preferences for a protégé – hopefully resulting in a better mentor match.
The session was a success and was subsequently repeated at two National AIA Conventions (Boston and San Francisco).