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A more classic version of speed dating was used during the Farmer-Chef Connection, an educational event that seeks to foster better relationships between chefs and individual farmers.
The traditional format for this program was a mix of speeches, panels, and workshops, along with long breaks that featured outstanding food provided by the farmers and prepared by the chefs.
Abstract Most Extension educators seek new ideas for organizing more exciting and animated workshops and conferences.
This article describes structured networking activities (also know as "speed dating") that succeed in enlivening meetings, strengthening networking, and improving learning.
Participants had renewed energy to face the afternoon workshops. Participatory workshops: A sourcebook of 21 sets of ideas and activities.
These two examples demonstrate that pairing up people with a purpose can achieve excellent learning and networking results.
As an antidote, Robert Chambers, in his superb book Participatory Workshops, proposes the "buzz": "So easy. Invite participants to buzz with others next to them--about what has just been covered or done, an issue that has arisen, the agenda.
The immediate wake-up often includes learning by talking." Speed dating takes these conversations a step further by focusing on a specific topic of interest and by recognizing that individuals fill different roles in many conversations.
If so, consider being one of our Event Coordinators and managing our Speed Dating Parties in your city.A speed mentoring approach was successful in sharing knowledge among farmers' market managers with different levels of experience.Farmers and chefs used a more classic speed dating approach to forge new relationships and make deals.All participants easily accomplished these three goals, and many actively engaged in deal making.After 10 minutes, we rang a bell and gave the instruction, "Shake hands and move on." After three rounds, we called a halt.
At Oregon State University we have begun using variations on the "speed dating" model (just another name for structured networking) in a wide variety of settings. Sessions in conferences and workshops, whether keynote addresses, panels, or town hall meetings, share a common characteristic: one person at a time speaks, and everyone else is expected to listen.