The Florida Association of Insurance Agents' Big I days willalways draw the golfers. And carriers will forever host advisorycouncils and roundtable retreats at luxury hotspots such as SouthSeas Plantation and Ocean Reef. While that may be fine forwell-established agents and scratch players, how does a new agentget in front of the big carriers? Or, for that matter, how does anew carrier best make a pitch to an independent agent?Traditionally, the choices have been limited to hosting orattending an impersonal large-room seminar or cold calling toarrange for one-on-one face time in the office.

Some go-getters at the Independent Insurance Agents of DadeCounty Young Agents Council are promoting a new concept. Welcome tothe world of Speed Meeting, a novel approach to efficientnetworking in today's multi-tasking, hurry-up business world.

Speed Meeting is a take-off on the speed dating craze, where agroup of singles gathers at a cafe or similar venue. Armed with anametag, a scorecard, and their sparkling personalities, couplesare paired up to begin their first date. They are allowed todiscuss anything, although they usually avoid direct information ontheir careers or where they live. Following several minutes ofconversation, a bell is rung, and the men move on to meet theirnext date. Think of it as a flirt's version of musical chairs.

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