Networking event offers speed dating for businesses
THE speed-dating comparisons are inevitable, but it really is intended to be a business-to-business event, orchestrated to introduce registrants to new people in specific industries to plant seeds of future business relationships.
Event coordinator Joe Lopez is staging his first 5 Minute Networking event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Ocean Club at Restaurant Row.
"I've seen a lot of shy people at networking events ... and people in cliques -- they get in their safe little groups," he said. While it's good to stay in touch with people you already know, the structure of the evening guarantees that fresh faces will come together for at least five minutes.
Lopez said the theme for the evening is "How can we help each other?"
"In five minutes, I can learn about somebody's company and put a face to it," Lopez said. "We can help each other -- we can do business or we can give referrals and introduce somebody to somebody we know. It's a way to connect and help each other. That's really what I'm going to push at the event."
Before the event, registrants can use the 5 Minute Networking Web site to choose the fields or industries in which they would like to meet people.
After the event, attendees can go back to the Web site and review contact details for each business acquaintance made. The software keeps track of the contacts to prevent duplications of introductions in the interest of saving time and money.
The cost is $49 at the door, though registrants should spend time at the Web site early enough to be "in the system," Lopez said.
The software can be used for any kind of networking event: for doctors who want to meet vendors, for a class reunion or even a company that wants its people to get to know each other better, Lopez said. In other words, have networking software, will travel, for a fee. Lopez's contact information is on the Web site.
As for hookups of a nature other than business relationships, "you know, there's a liability waiver, you sign a release, you're on your own," he joked.
Interisland fare duel
It's not a full-scale fare war but Aloha Airlines' 60th anniversary 60-hour sale on $60 interisland fares for one-way travel sparked a counteroffer from Hawaiian Airlines that costs $55 for its HawaiianMiles members and boasts a longer booking window.
Aloha's initial offer was for all travelers purchasing tickets online between last Sunday and today for travel through March 9. HawaiianMiles members then received e-mailed certificates for $55 one-way tickets purchased through Thursday for travel to be completed by March 9.
Aloha fired a volley right back yesterday, extending a $5 discount on its 60th anniversary fares to AlohaPass members effective at noon today and extending the ticket purchase deadline to -- surprise -- Thursday.
The special fares do not include taxes and fees and apply to online ticket purchases only. Tickets purchased by phone will cost more.
Each airline's Web site offers information on joining their respective frequent flyer programs.
» On the Net: www.alohaairlines.com & www.hawaiianairlines.com
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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org