What Is Speed Mentoring and How Can It Improve Member Experience?

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What Is Speed Mentoring and How Can It Improve Member Experience?

Content Strategist
8 minutes read
December 16, 2022

Last Updated: April 05, 2024


Speed mentoring is a relatively new concept that is becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. Many companies are using it to improve learning and provide growth opportunities to their employees and trainees.

But do you know that associations and other member-based organizations can also use it to enhance their member experience and boost their professional network?

In this article, we will walk you through what speed mentoring is, what are its benefits, and how you can conduct one.

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Speed mentoring involves short, focused sessions where mentees rotate between mentors to discuss specific topics and exchange ideas. Each mentee typically gets 15-20 minutes with each mentor.
  • Speed mentoring differs from traditional mentoring in that it is shorter in duration, involves a larger group, is more focused on specific topics, and is less formal.
  • Speed mentoring can improve member experience by providing opportunities for career growth, professional networking, and staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Studies show speed mentoring often leads to ongoing mentoring relationships.
  • To conduct speed mentoring sessions, carefully plan the logistics, invite knowledgeable mentors, promote the event, explain the format, keep time, and encourage mingling and networking between mentees as well.
  • Virtual speed mentoring platforms like Glue Up can facilitate online speed mentoring by using smart matching to pair mentees with mentors, allocating equal time, enabling note-taking, business card sharing, and 1-on-1 chats.

What is Speed Mentoring?

Speed mentoring is a type of networking event where participants meet for short, focused sessions to discuss specific topics.

It is similar to the concept of speed dating, a matchmaking process that involves single individuals meeting potential partners in a short period of time.

According to Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco,

“Speed mentoring can be especially beneficial for mentees who are exploring a new career or field. Since it is also less intense and more fun than traditional mentoring, it makes for a more enjoyable experience for both parties.”

Speed mentoring sessions are typically shorter than traditional mentoring meetings, and the focus is on exchanging information and ideas rather than building long-term relationships. However, certain speed networking platforms like Glue Up allows your members to stay connected after the session through a 1-on-1 chat option.

Speed mentoring events are typically organized around a specific theme or topic, and the mentees have an opportunity to rotate between mentors to learn different perspectives. Each mentee has 15 to 20 minutes with an "expert" on a topic chosen by the participant.

What Makes Speed Mentoring Different From a Traditional Mentoring Program?


Traditional mentoring has been around for centuries, with the concept of a more experienced individual passing on their knowledge to a less experienced individual.

In more recent years, mentoring has become formalized, with many organizations offering mentoring programs.

In fact, according to nationalmentoringday.org, 71% of Fortune 500 companies have a mentoring program in place. Another study by Vistage states that 86% of CEOs credit mentoring programs for their success.

While the details may vary, the goal is the same: to help mentees grow and develop in their careers.

Traditional mentoring relationships are typically one-on-one, with the mentor serving as a coach, sounding board, and confidante.

The mentee, in turn, looks to the mentor for guidance, advice, and support. These relationships can be very beneficial, helping your members to navigate their careers and reach their full potential.

Read more: 15 Tips for Driving a Stellar Member Experience in Your Association [With a Comprehensive Guide to Journey Mapping]

Speed mentoring is different from traditional mentoring in a few key ways. First, it is typically shorter in duration, lasting for only a few minutes in a single session.

According to Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert,

“The ideal length of time between each mentor and mentee is 15 minutes as it gives mentees time to briefly introduce themselves and their background while also allowing them to have a productive conversation with the mentors.”

Second, speed mentoring typically involves a larger group of people, with each mentor meeting with several mentees. This allows for more efficient use of time and resources.

Third, it is more focused, with each session having a specific goal or topic. This focus allows for more meaningful conversations and mentee growth, as opposed to the more general mentoring relationship.

Finally, speed mentoring is less formal than traditional mentoring, which can create a more relaxed and comfortable environment for both the mentor and mentee.

How Does Speed Mentoring Improve Member Experience?

Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity, states, “Speed mentoring is a great way to support professional or personal growth. With the advent of the digital age, it is now more accessible than ever. It helps connect those who want to grow to those who can help.”

Opportunity for Career Growth

The benefits of speed mentoring include the ability to gain multiple insights and perspectives on a topic in a short period of time, as well as the opportunity to network with a group of professionals.

It can be an effective way to learn about a new industry or field, and can also be helpful in career development.

Professional Networking

Speed mentoring is a great way for mentors and mentees to connect and learn from each other. It provides a structured way for the mentor to share their knowledge and experience with the mentee, and for the mentee to ask questions and get feedback.

It also helps the mentors to stay up-to-date on their industry and to learn from the mentee's perspective.

According to research conducted by Oxford Academic, at least 90% of mentees made follow-up appointments with a mentor after a speed mentoring event.

The same study showed that mentors who participated in a speed mentoring event felt appreciated for being able to share their expertise.

Another study revealed that mentors and mentees who met at a speed mentoring event maintained a mentoring relationship one year later.

Keeping up with the Latest Industry Trends

Speed mentoring can be an incredibly valuable experience for your members. It provides the opportunity to meet with a number of different mentors and ask them questions about their career experiences.

However, it is also important to note that what a mentee can gain from speed mentoring will also depend on how well they prepare for the sessions.

Mentors, on the other hand, are able to share their insights from their tenure in the industry, which is valuable in and of itself. They can also offer advice and guidance on the mentee's career goals.

How to Conduct Speed Mentoring Sessions?

Speed mentoring sessions are a great way to connect with professionals in your field and learn from their experience. Here are some tips on how to conduct a successful speed mentoring session:

  1. Schedule a time and place for the event. It is crucial to determine whether the event will be virtual or physical. Each option has its own pros and cons. A virtual speed mentoring event is more cost-effective as it no longer requires a physical venue, while a physical event would require more careful logistical planning.

  2. Identify the professionals you want to invite to participate in your event. Make sure to choose people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the topics you'll be covering.

  3. Promote the speed mentoring sessions on social media. If you are conducting it as a part of an industry-specific event, use relevant event marketing strategies to make it more successful.

  4. At the beginning of the session, explain the format and how the session will work. Advise participants to prepare both general and specific questions. It is also important to take notes during the sessions.

  5. Set the timer and make sure it is visible to the mentors and mentees at the event. When the time is up, announce it to the group so they can switch to another mentor.

  6. Make sure to encourage participants to mingle with other mentees as well. After all, speed mentoring is not just about interacting with mentors. It is also a networking event that can lead to fruitful professional connections.

Using a Speed Networking Platform

Glue Up speed networking platform can be quite useful if you are conducting speed mentoring sessions online. It uses smart matching technology to pair your mentees connect mentees with the best possible mentors. It also allocates equal time to each mentee to connect with their mentors.

Some advanced features of the platform include taking notes during meetings, sharing virtual business cards, and chatting one-on-one.

Building and maintaining mentorship relationships is an important part of growing professionally. Conducting speed mentoring can help your members build these important relationships while also being productive and successful. Get a demo of the Glue Up speed networking platform today and get ready to conduct your upcoming mentoring event.




How do I prepare for a speed mentoring session?
If you want to have a successful speed mentoring session, make sure to do the following:

  • Research the mentors attending to tailor your questions.
  • Set clear goals for what you wish to learn or achieve.
  • Practice a concise self-introduction that highlights your background and areas of interest.

These three steps are sufficient to make the most of the limited time with each mentor and establish meaningful connections.

What is the purpose of speed mentoring?
Speed mentoring provides mentees with an opportunity to go beyond merely reviewing a mentor's profile.

Mentees can assess potential mentors' compatibility and chemistry in real time by engaging in these dynamic sessions. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of establishing a successful and productive mentor-mentee relationship.

How do I run speed mentoring?
You can easily run a speed mentoring session using a dedicated speed networking software like Glue Up.

The software has an advanced algorithm that pairs mentors and mentees in short 1-1 sessions. It also assists in matching mentors and mentees based on their shared interests, expertise, and objectives, ensuring that the interactions are relevant and valuable for both parties.

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