Business Blind Date: open air browsing
Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” J. Rohn
Do you have an idea how it is possible to contribute to development of new human combinations and to network in a nice and at the same time efficient way? How could you increase your own pool, ally and link capacities? And I am not talking here about virtual way like LinkedIn but in real?
I have been organizing business blind dates for 17 years now and can conclude to experience it as an enormous enrichment and contribution in many ways. Social Media enable nowadays a pretty simple way of organizing such an event.
How does it work ? Well, I invite by ‘bcc’ mail approx. 30 participants to come to a picturesque place in the Netherlands at 7:00 am: a business blind date is a bit crazy idea and a crazy starting time is an essential part of it. You have obviously to demonstrate consistency.
This early starting time has lots of practical advantages for the participants. When putting my guest list together I have been thinking of who could do business with whom but I don’t direct this process when it comes so far. The people do see it themselves in no time.
So, coming back to the topic, I send the mail with the invitation to max. 30 potential participants and request a confirmation. And whether you believe it or not, as a rule at least 25 participants confirm their participation and many of them come sometimes from the opposite part of the country.
We meet in a nice hotel, which opens its doors at 7:00 am sharp. We start the day with a cup of coffee because without coffee no deals can be discussed. Then we leave for a “business” walk for one hour and a half. From April to October it is really a nice experience. It is very quite outside, the air is clean, and all the senses are getting open.
During this walk many things are being discussed. I call it “an open air browsing”. Firstly, becoming acquainted then making plans and becoming connected. I enjoy watching this happening around me. When two persons, who as far as I concerned could do business together can’t find each other in the beginning will get a slight push from me in the right direction. When I notice any signs of “scratch card behavior”- starting a short conversation without any honest interest just for checking whether this particular person could be a potentially interested link- I intervene as I don’t like falsehood.
When we arrive back at the hotel- at quarter to nine, we use to have breakfast together. By ten o’clock we are done and everybody is outside. It feels like you have been working already at least half day with a result that you have met 28 new people, collected new ideas or even got started a new business- and everything at a really reasonable price (the leasing costs for the car are not included!)
Business Blind date. Why digital vs. physical? If you ask me, it is really worth all the time and preparation. Just think about that and try out!