I would never describe myself as a “morning person,” but believe it or not, but I was excited to get up at 5: 16 am yesterday morning to drive 45 minutes to a breakfast networking meeting in Point Cook.
If a 7 am breakfast networking event sounds like your particular brand of “Nightmare” then you need to read on.
How many other business owners love a productive day at the office that brings in a lot of business?
While I don’t favour mornings over another time of day, I do love being productive. Admittedly, by 10 am I felt a little
groggy, but the question is: how much more business will a good networking event bring you? Are you keeping track of it?
The philosophy of BNI is “If I drive more business to my fellow networkers, they will drive more business to me.” And it works. The majority of services I purchase come from businesses I met at networking events. Fortunately, the majority of my business also comes from networking events.
But even more, for a business networking event to work–an event needs to be enjoyable.
What I really like about the (Point Cook) “Wyndham Warriors” BNI Networking Event in outer Melbourne:
The Brook’s meeting room in Point Cook is an open, clean and professional venue and the breakfast is ace: healthy, vegetarian or “the big breakfast” are all sensational. $18 covers your attendance. (A served warm breakfast feels like a reward when you get up early in the morning.)
Timing: BNI Point Cook’s business networking event starts at 7 and finishes at 8; and during that one hour we eat, make connections, constant referrals and frequent testimonials to BNI members and visitors. So we are conducting business that closes sales the whole time. (There is no getting hung up on over-promoting one person, pitfall of many lesser business networking events.)
30-60 second spiels – and there is a person who times and ‘dings’ (like a debating competition) to keep to your 60 second maximum. **If this intimidates you, subscribe by RSS so you learn how to do a 30 second business spiel.
Professionalism: BNI Point Cook uses handshakes and clapping to congratulate each other—if you are running your own business, the accolade is a perk and most importantly it reaffirms: good business should be won.
Format: First members get 60 seconds + business card box passed around. Second visitors get 30 seconds + business card box. You pick up each other’s business cards as people speak, and I’ve found that this really helps me to ideas about how we can work better together.
Great committee– there is solid leadership from Clive and Lucas and everyone is welcoming and friendly. The BNI group is always set-up ahead of time, there are name tags, of course, but most importantly “greeter” is an official committee title – at networking events a “greeter” is essential for making new people want to come back to your business networking event.
Visitors to BNI are encouraged. BNI wants new people to come to their events so that more business is shared throughout all of our networks.
BNI Point Cook meets regularly – every week; apparently they used to meet once/week, but found they got more business from weekly sessions—how indicative of the success of this group is that?
Anyone who gets up early in the morning to do business is your kind of business person – they are go-getters, who are willing to plan ahead to set and achieve goals.
The next business networking event I’m going to is run by a a local council in Melbourne and it’s in February 2010 in Hawthorn. I’ll be posting on that next week and if you bookmark/share or RSS you’ll be able to see my comparison notes.