Hey YPT, what a great time we had last week in Berkeley! Over 60 transportation professionals and students participated in YPT’s first ever “speed networking” event held at Bec’s Bar and Bistro Entertainment. In addition, this was our first foray into regional events – our first East Bay YPT event! By all accounts, the event was a fantastic success and we learned some key lessons (1 minute is too short!) to improve on for next time. We captured some great time-lapse video of speed-networking at work:
Folks began arriving at 6:30 PM and enjoyed drinks and each other’s company for the first half hour. Afterwards, YPT SF Bay Area Chair Paul Supawanich took the stage to welcome the crowd before turning it over to Erin Fergeson of Kittelson and Associates. Erin talked about the importance of networking, especially between professionals and students, and its role in strengthening our profession. Thank you again to Kittelson for being our first “Golden Gate” sponsor for YPT SF Bay!
Jorge Barrios, one of the co-organizers of the event, took the microphone next and kicked off the speed networking! Attendees were split into two different rooms by birthdate. Within each room, professionals and students were given 1 minute to talk to one another before rotating to the next person. Despite the short time and some acoustic issues (it got quite loud in those rooms!) I was able to meet people from the City of Oakland, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and even Switzerland!
After a half hour or so of the speed networking, the group reassembled in the main room for some appetizers, drinks, and follow up discussions with the folks they just met earlier.
Overall the event was a lot of fun and everyone was able to meet someone that they normally may not have at another event. Next time, we’ll look into making the speed networking longer than one minute and find rooms that aren’t so hard on the ears! Thank you to everyone who came and we’ll see you next time YPT’ers!
Deputy Chair, YPT SF Bay Area