Imagine an event your city or neighboring town. You show up with a pocketful of business cards and your 1-3 minutes "about me" pitch. If 50 people show up, the actual "meet" of the event could take roughly 2 hours, with some group networking before and after.
In one minute I could easily tell you in broad strokes about myself and what my passions are related to my career and networking goals. I venture to guess, most people can do the same in a minute or less. If I made 50 new connections in 2 hours I would be thrilled - no matter the industry you come from. We can benefit from each other because everyone has different areas of expertise and though your area may be something like pizza ovens, used cars, or even restoration firearms - there is more than likely a chance that you have something of worth that I can apply to my business, and I to you as well.
I attended a local Twestival event last week and met a few folks there that seemed perhaps "not related" to what I do, but walking away from that and realizing what those have to offer whether it's blog expertise, or a specific benefit they can provide to me and/or my clients - each and every network connection is a win-win.
I would welcome the opportunity to attend such an event where I could gather up a large group of connections in a short period of time, and have tidbits of information about each to take away - rather than a shake hands "hello nice to meet you".
And here's my fun tip for how to remember a person's name... People think I'm silly for doing this, but at church on Friday's nights I tend to meet a few new people each week. When I meet them I chat for a bit, and before I excuse myself I look at them while shaking their hand and say their name 6 times outloud. Yes - it appears silly, but it certainly works for me! What's your tip to remember names and other useful information about new connections?