The Jam Session: Innovating Networking to be more Facilitated

Have you ever been to a bad networking session? Maybe it was a free-for-all at the beginning of a conference. Maybe it was a disguised as a happy hour at a bar. Maybe you didn’t get the chance to talk to anyone, or worse yet got stuck talking to someone for way too long. Maybe you just talked about the weather and didn’t get to talk about your idea or what you needed or provide any insight or assistance to anyone. It was just like hanging out awkwardly at a bar. There are a lot of opportunities for improvement and innovation with networking.

I’ve been working with the University of Wisconsin Office of Human Resource Development on innovating the networking session. It is like a facilitated workshop. It is part thinking about important questions, working on your “how you quickly communicate elevator speech,” part group introduction, and part one-on-one or one-on-two speed networking. In this jam session people leave with a more comfortable and activity filled experience. They get to share with the whole group, hear from everyone, and go deeper one on one with many new people. They actually get to connect and converse! We can bring the Innovative Networking Session to your event or group or jam with us at UW!

About The Author


Darin Eich is the author of Innovation Step-by-Step: How to Create & Develop Ideas for your Challenge and Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices for Leadership Development Programs and has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Darin was also the president and co-founder of BrainReactions,, and other startups. Darin gives speeches and can be hired to help your institution facilitate, create, and develop innovation programs, courses, retreats, and even conduct assessment or coach staff on developing leadership programs. Visit Innovation Training or our Facilitation, Design Thinking, and Innovation Courses to see for yourself - or email [email protected]