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The experienced managers listed three significant lessons they had learned in managing markets. The experienced managers stayed put, while the inexperienced rotated one station.The experienced mangers lined up against one wall (think an 8 grade dance), and then the inexperience managers selected one for a conversation. Instructions were given to talk about either the same topics (since different people might have different views) or new ones. After a second period had passed, this conversation was closed, and the speed mentoring ended.Admit it--you wish your workshops and conferences were livelier.Often the most animated interactions and the most valuable learning take place during breaks, meals, and receptions.Using the 8th grade dance model, the chefs line up against the wall, and the farmers went over and chose an initial "date." If it had been a smaller group (there were more than 80 participants), the chefs would have given a brief introduction so that farmers would have been better able to target their speed dates.In introducing the speed dating session, we deliberately downplayed getting to actual deals and instead discussed these desired objectives/outcomes: As it turns out, the objectives were needlessly conservative.Abstract Most Extension educators seek new ideas for organizing more exciting and animated workshops and conferences.
After 10 minutes, we rang a bell and gave the instruction, "Shake hands and move on." After three rounds, we called a halt.
The original speed dating was introduced as a way of promoting a safe and quick way of meeting a broad variety of date candidates.
(A simple "Google search" will uncover many examples.) The Oregon Farmers' Market Association (OFMA) holds an annual conference to educate market managers about current issues.
Extending these unstructured networking periods provides one way to improve these events.
But another, underutilized means for strengthening them is by carefully integrating structured networking periods into the conference schedule.