Professional Speed-Dating as part of training
Professional speed dating, or sometimes called speed networking, is derived from traditional speed-dating which is defined as an organised event for the purpose of meeting people you would like to date. However, professional speed-dating just uses the same format in order to facilitate business contacts. Usually, the participants have one-to-one conversation in a very limited time (usually less than 5 minutes). Once the time limit expires, a bell ring signals that it is time to move to a next chair or table in order to interact with another colleague. Professional speed-dating focuses on business interaction, i.e, the participants will inform each other about their professional background, field of specialisation, business goals, they will exchange their business cards and could also try to identify common professional interests and/or opportunities for potential business cooperation.
The Czech Bar Association, through its International Department, organises many international training events for its lawyers and trainee lawyers. The International Department has decided for the first time ever, to integrate professional speed-dating as part of a conference, namely the Czech-Slovak-German Lawyers Forum, a two-day event for lawyers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and German Sachsen and Bamberg which took place in November 2016 in Pilsen on the topic „International cooperation between lawyers“.
The first ever professional speed-dating went extremely well and we have received great positive feedback from all the 80 participants. Speed dating plays a major role as an ice-breaker and has a lasting effect even after the end of the speed-dating. Participants are curious to learn more about each other, they approach others more easily and the whole atmosphere of the training shifts towards a friendly and more informal one. This is also why many Bars and international organisations (a pioneer in this regard is AIJA, International Association of Young Lawyers) start to integrate speed dating as part of their training, conferences or trade fairs.
The International Department of the Czech Bar Association will certainly continue in the pursuit of new, informal and innovative approaches within its training activities, speed-dating included.
Dr. Eva Indruchová, LL.M., Head of International Department of the Czech Bar Association and Representative of the Czech Bar Association in Brussels, Member of the Czech Delegation to the CCBE, Member of the CCBE Training Committee.