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.
However, she found that many young interns, especially those new to Seattle, had a difficult time identifying potential mentors. After a brief overview of mentorship and the available resources, this interactive session required attendees to participate in a live demonstration of the program.
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.
Speed daters are trying to narrow down their choices by eliminating the unsuitable; conversely, speed networkers are trying to broaden their connections by increasing their exposure.
Most speed networking events begin in an open room for Participants to mingle. The moderator will place time limits on the participants interactions, telling them when the time intervals have expired.
During an interaction, participants share their professional backgrounds and business goals.
Speed networking is particularly useful "when many organisations are gathering at large events." Speed mentoring sessions are typically "a series of short, focused conversations about specific questions.