Thursday, October 16, 2014

Speed Dating / Networking in Saudi Arabia

What is Speed Dating?
Speed dating is common term in the West where a group of people, men and women, are provided the opportunity to meet with each other and communicate within a certain set amount of time. The purposes of this practice is to help people meet with each other in the hopes of finding a suitable match for themselves. This concept was initially introduced by a Jew Rabbi for the purpose of providing single Jews the opportunity to find a match for them. Speed networking is another concept that is a derivative of speed dating, with a similar procedure but a different end goal. It aims at providing people belonging to various professional backgrounds the chance to interact with each other in order to expand their contact circle and also get more exposure and develop fruitful professional relationships.

Speed Dating in Saudi Arabia
Recently, the first meeting of this nature was held in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia where women belonging to various professions got a chance to meet with each other. This event was organized by a professional women’s group in Saudi Arabia. Following the usual format of speed networking the women were allowed to talk to each other on a certain topic for a given period of time after which it is signaled to switch tables and meet with new people and so on and so forth. This greatly helped the working women in getting to know about other professions around them and also increased their awareness about them. This event included women belonging to various backgrounds like medicine, business and consultancy. The expatriate women also greatly benefited from this as they got to know more about what it is like to work in Saudi Arabia. The event was such a huge success that more events of this kind have been encouraged and are being planned for women in Saudi Arabia.

Benefits of Speed Dating
Speed networking is a growing and very popular event in the West where people find it greatly beneficial in expanding their business and work contacts. This helps such people meet with each other, and gives enough time for them to talk and know each other, which would normally not be able to do so. Another benefit of such an event is that it reduces the awkwardness of having to cut short a meeting or giving formal introductions and breaking the ice. Since it is a pre-set event, the people meeting are mentally prepared for what is to come and are more attentive and present during the conversations, benefitting both parties. Hence it is a positive sign that people, especially women, have developed an awareness of such productive activities which will no doubt contribute very positively in their professional lives.

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