HIT Scotland – Making Connections workshops

making-connections-workshop-hit-scotlandMaximillion was commissioned by the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland – HIT Scotland – to design and deliver a suite of bespoke networking sessions for the delegates of the 2014 Emerging Talent Conference, which took place in Glasgow.

For the purposes of the scope of this year’s conference, Maximillion was given the brief to create a bespoke suite of facilitated workshops – Making Connections – that would get students and industry professionals interacting and networking to make positive connections that would in turn result in post-conference communication and possible work experience or even an internship. In order to create some momentum around the session and make it all the more relevant and targeted, for any genuine connection followed through after today, HIT Scotland offered to assess its merits and, for the most promising mutual area interest, a mechanism was put in place to support its development.

In terms of format, over the course of the day Maximillion delivered 4 x thirty-five minute sessions in two parallel streams, each one led by a Maximillion Facilitator. Each session was delivered to two groups of 45 delegates in two separate event spaces at the venue. Each networking group comprised a mix of students and industry professionals, pre-determined to maximize the opportunities for delegates to network and make mutually beneficial connections.

Event detail:

  • Date: February 2014
  • Venue: Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow
  • Format & Style: Facilitated speed networking event
  • Group: 360 industry delegates, comprising a mix of industry professionals and students
  • Event scope and duration: Full day event comprising 4 x networking sessions running in two parallel streams

The brief:

The delegate groups were briefed by the Facilitators to use this session as a platform to work together with the objective of making positive connections with those in this room who shared a mutual interest.  For example they could be a student looking for career advice in a chosen specialism, or for work experience or internship opportunities in 2014. Or, they could be an industry professional seeking some emerging student talent for similar ends. Equally they could be two industry pros who shared a professional interest and would like to develop this with a like-minded contact in the months ahead.

How the session worked.

  • The workshop rooms were physically divided into separate networking ‘zones’, each representing a key area of the industry.
  • There were 5 x 5 minute networking rounds, allowing delegates to move from zone to zone. Each round was run against the clock and initiated and closed by a whistle blow signalling that they had the choice to either stay in the same zone and continue networking, or to move on to another zone to widen their quest for useful contacts.
  • At the beginning of the round delegates made their way to the zone of their choice and started networking. The aim was for each delegate to engage with the industry pros or students present in that zone only. Using a specially designed A5 booklet they recorded information on the useful contact made, along with the area of mutual interest – and most importantly what the next step would be after the conference.
  • The ‘rules of engagement’ stated that no more than 9 delegates could be present in any zone at any one time, and that over the five rounds they had to visit a minimum of three zones in total.

On completion of the final round, delegates were encouraged to review the contacts they had made and identify one which they felt was particularly valuable and with whom a follow up was merited.

HIT Scotland CEO’s feedback

“Many thanks indeed for putting on the fantastic workshops last week. The feedback has been great and I hope you managed to enjoy the day too! Networking is always part and parcel about what we do…..and this format really seemed to capture the energy in the room!”

Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland is a Scottish based charity whose mission is to assist people to achieve their potential within Scottish hospitality.

Since 1994 HIT Scotland has helped those training to enter the industry and those already within, to realise their full potential. This is achieved through bursaries, scholarships, the Emerging Talent conference and other industry initiatives.


Maximillion is an event management company which organises conferenceslive events and team building activities across the UK. To find out more about our range of services, see our team building events section or get in touch.