Welcome to the newest BULLER CENTRE SERVICE
CONNECT MANITOBA—a new speed-networking event for businesses—held its inaugural event on October 23rd, 2013, in Steinbach.
The reviews are in, and they’re glowing.
Eight participants filled out the post-event evaluation, and ALL rated the event an excellent use of their time. Some of the individual comments were:
|A very productive, very targeted way to meet new potential clients, and build relationships.|
|Mike Lynes, Raintree Financial|
|Went better than I anticipated. I walked away with three very warm leads as well as a potential partnership. It went by very quickly and was quite enjoyable. I will definitely attend again.|
|Mike Burnard, Three Marketing|
|I really enjoyed the event. It was really innovative and executed well. Well worth attending.|
|Curt Dueck, SoutheastDIGITAL|
|The Connect Manitoba concept was very well received by those in attendance at our first ever event. Networking is integral in the business world, and really in all of life, but this very targeted kind of networking is new to many in the business community. Participants felt it was really worth their time as they made numerous solid contacts in under 2 hours. We will definitely look at doing something like this again next year.|
|Linda Peters, Executive Director, Steinbach Chamber of Commerce|
CONNECT MANITOBA lets you:
- Find new business customers
- Meet potential suppliers, vendors, investors, and business partners
- Have a complimentary continental breakfast
All in 2 hours or less. And all for only $20. ($20 for members of any Chamber of Commerce; $30 if you are not a member of any Chamber. Prices include all applicable taxes.)
Our First One Was Held…
- Wednesday 23 October 2013
- 8:30 – 10:30 am
- Smitty’s Banquet Room, Steinbach
Our target for our next CONNECT MANITOBA event is between 15 and 20 businesses—big enough to ensure a diverse mixture of businesses, but small enough that everyone is able to meet everyone else.
…And We’re Working On Setting Up Our Next One
We’re looking to hold our next one in south-central Manitoba and are currently looking for Chamber partners in the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce’s Pembina Valley and Central regions.
What is Speed-Networking?
If they like what they hear (and see), they agree to meet again. Take that basic idea, apply it to business, and focus on rural Manitoba—and you have CONNECT MANITOBA.
Of course, we’re not the first organization to think of applying this structured meet-and-mingle process to business. There is even a term for it—speed-networking. A number of entities (both for-profit and non-profit) organize speed-networking events in various parts of the world although, so far as we are aware, none are active in Manitoba. It also appears that we’re the only one focused on rural business.
First Of A Series
This event in Steinbach is intended to be the first of four CONNECT MANITOBA events held throughout Manitoba over the year.
- Western Manitoba, encompassing the Chambers’ western, Midwest, and Parkland regions
- Eastern Manitoba, encompassing the Chambers’ Eastern region
- South Central, encompassing the Chambers’ Pembina Valley and Central regions
- North Central, encompassing the Chambers’ Interlake and Norman regions
Each regional CONNECT MANITOBA will focus on fostering business-to-business connections in that area of the province.
CONNECT MANITOBA is an opportunity for small businesses to:
- Meet potential business customers
- Meet potential service providers for their businesses (accounting, etc.)
- Find potential partners for joint business ventures
- Find out what resources are available to help their business grow
- Publicize their business to their community
Like (And Not Like) Centralia
The closest precedent in Manitoba is probably Centralia, which provides a way for Manitoba businesses to meet international customers, vendors and partners. Centralia was first held in Winnipeg in 2010, and occurred again in October 2012. Although both are designed for networking, CONNECT MANITOBA and Centralia are somewhat different from each other.
- Centralia is focused on international connections, while CONNECT MANITOBA is focused on connecting businesses in rural Manitoba with each other.
- Centralia is a multi-day event, while CONNECT MANITOBA lasts only two hours.
- CONNECT MANITOBA is affordable for smaller businesses. The registration fee will range between $20 and $50 per event (depending on the cost of booking the space).
More Information on Speed-Networking
- ABC News - Networking for Suits
- Short TV news story, with good advice on making networking sessions productive. Archived on YouTube.
- New York Times - Businesses try a form of speed dating
- Good overview.
- Hub Pages - Speed Networking…Like Speed Dating For Business Contacts
- A first-person account of a speed-networking event. Good perspective for potential participants wondering what the experience is like.
- Probably the largest and most experienced of these services.
- Wikipedia - Speed Networking
- Good overview of purposes and options.