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FARMINGTON – A unique, fast-paced event employing "speed-networking" will be taking place April 6 at the San Juan Country Club.

The event is sponsored by ImageNet Consulting and the Farmington Young Professionals, which is an off-shoot of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce.

Speed networking is designed to allow business professionals from all backgrounds to exchange information in a fun, relaxed setting, said Audra Winters, president of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce.

"This is the fifth annual speed networking event," Winters said. "It's actually a fundraiser for the Farmington Young Professionals, who provide scholarships to Leadership San Juan."

Winters said that during the event, participants will be seated across from each other, and will have a minute-and-a-half to explain their business and/or what type of work they do. When a bell rings to signify time's up, participants move down the line, eventually exchanging information with everyone in the room.

"We have people from all types of businesses – insurance agents, bankers, even non-profits," said Winters. "We recommend people bring lots of business cards, brochures and hand-outs concerning any events they're trying to promote. And they should be prepared to talk."

Winters said the annual event normally draws about 50 participants, and the addition of a cash bar and appetizers makes it a festive, exciting way to exchange information with fellow

professionals.

"It's a really fun event and is a good way to find out about the Chamber," said Winters. "The Chamber has the (monthly) Business After Hours evenings, but some people really like this structured method of meeting people."

Although co-sponsored by the Farmington Young Professionals, Winters said the networking gathering is open to individuals of all ages, and participants do not have to be members of that organization or members of the Chamber of Commerce.

Cardon Kempton is president of the Farmington Young Professionals, which meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month on the second floor of 100 W. Broadway St., which is the building that houses the Farmington Chamber of Commerce.

"Our organization basically consists of young and/or young-at-heart people who are motivated and energetic," said Kempton. "We are here to serve the community and provide mentorship for those who want to develop professionally in their work environment. We have a diverse group of people in our organization, and although people have to be 21 to join, there is no maximum age cap."

Kempton said he feels that this type of speed networking is the best way for business professionals to get their name out in the community.

"A lot of the participants are new to the area and don't know a lot of people, so we're telling them to bring a lot of business cards," he said. "This is probably the most affordable way to get face-to-face contact, and it gives people a way to remember who you are and what you do."

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621. 

If You Go

What: Speed Networking Event

When: 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 6

Where: San Juan Country Club, 5775 Country Club Drive, Farmington

Cost: $10 for Farmington Chamber of Commerce members, $15 for non-members

Info: RSVP with the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, 505-325-0279 or e-mail chamber@gofarmington.com

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