Archive for Events

Dec
14

Building Trust In The Sun

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sunsmallerFrom Christmas to 26 January, Australia turns into a different kind of  place.

The roads are deserted in the cities, people dress more casually at work, they go home earlier – and generally take life less seriously. The six or so weeks of the traditional Australian Summer Break show the country in a different light.

And the weeks leading up to Christmas are generally a madhouse of tying up loose ends at work, while juggling an endless stream of end-of-year and Christmas functions.

It’s a lot of fun, that’s for sure … but February can feel like a real hangover.

Because during the last weeks before Christmas and after up to Australia Day, we’ve mostly ignored our marketing activities. Especially our networking and relationship marketing have suffered, and now suddenly it’s February, our cash reserves have dwindled and we need to get some new customers, quick smart.

It can be a tricky time.

Here are some thoughts to make your February feel much better than it might have in previous years.

Doing Your Best In January

Firstly a couple of words about your BNI group:

Many chapters generally slow down during January. If your group is one of those, think about this: the breakfast meetings are primarily designed to impress visitors. Just because your chapter slows down during January, that doesn’t mean you need to stop doing your best for your fellow members.

So schedule in some January one-on-ones, and make a commitment to yourself to spend two hours a week during January on BNI related activities.

Remember we do one-on-ones because of the old saying “people do business with people they know, like and trust”. Business is about people who trust each other. We get to trust each other more as we get to know each other more. It’s not actually about getting to know each other’s businesses so much: it’s about getting to know each other as people. The more I get to know you as a person, the more I will get to trust you – and the more likely it is that I will want to do business with you.

Networking On The Beach

Having some one-to-ones in the summer season in a more relaxed setting and mindset may really help to foster deeper trust. Here are a few ideas:

  • Go and have your one-on-one at a cafe by the beach, in your board shorts. For that matter, why not have your meeting at the beach?
  • Another cool thing to do might be to organise a day at the cricket with a bunch of your BNI colleagues. Plenty of opportunity to talk about business and referrals during a day watching the red ball.
  • Or, maybe you have someone in your group with a boat? Organise a few hours on the water with a bunch of your referral partners. Lots of good opportunity to get to know each other and each other’s businesses better as well.

Referral marketing always starts with one word: Trust.Building trust is rewarding … And there’s no reason you can’t build trust while having fun in the sun.

More Free Time

Besides continuing to build trust in your BNI group, here are some other things to think about during the summer period to keep some good energy in your marketing activities.

  • Most businesses still operate during the break, sometimes on a skeleton staff, and business doesn’t cease during January (although it can sometimes feel that way). So there is actually no reason to slow down too much in your marketing activities.
  • What’s more, people have more time to read what you send them and more opportunities to take time to talk with you.
  • So make sure you send them some good stuff to read, stuff that gives them something to think about – and call a couple of your prospects or clients every week and invite them to have lunch or breakfast.

You’ll be surprised how effective it will be …

I promise you.

Roland-Hanekroot-Web-001This article was written by Roland Hanekroot from New Perspectives Business Coaching.

Roland is the owner of New Perspectives Business Coaching, and the author of “The Ten Truths Trilogy” Business books for business owners who don’t like reading business books, but know that they should. Along with being a 9 year BNI veteran he helps small business owners have more fun in their business and build a business that will sustain them for many years to come.

From 11- 14 November 2011, sunny Long Beach, California, attracted BNI Directors from all corners of the globe for the BNI International Director’s Conference 2011.

For three days, nearly 600 BNI Directors gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (joined by another 250 Member’s Day-only attendees) for what they do best:

Networking.  

Should you think this crowd was getting all California-style laid-back for a few days – think again!  Your very own BNI Director likely slogged away almost non-stop to bring you back the best new tactics, education and tools to take your chapter to new heights.

From the Horses’ Mouth(s)

We spoke to Louise Greenup (BNI Sydney CBD South), Brent Edwards (BNI Melbourne South), Sue Anthoney (BNI Sydney North West), and Daniel Garlick (BNI Tasmania) to find out what they took away from this year’s conference.

They told us that they worked hard, made great new connections, and had fun doing so.  Perhaps that’s not all that surprising, because the BNI International Conference works like a giant chapter meeting!

“Attending the BNI International Conference should come with a warning,” Louise Greenup says, tongue-in-cheek.

“Attendees were on their ‘A game’ and ready for action,” she continues.  “Shaking the hands of true givers from around the world was a rich experience.  An abundance of information and educational material was freely passed between attendees.  Now that was special,” Louise enthuses.

“Just awesome!”

What Impressed You Most At The International Conference?

Louise was impressed with how truly global BNI is, and how easily everyone and anyone from all corners of the world shared – in true Givers Gain® fashion.

For Brent and Dan, the access to the most-successful BNI people in the world, and the time they offered, was a highlight.  Dan especially appreciated the opportunity to interview several BNI ‘masters’, including Lee Abraham and Mike Macedonio.

Everyone mentioned the high quality of the content and speakers, as well as the chance to reconnect, as some true highlights of attending this year’s BNI International Director’s Conference 2011.

Creative Sue Anthoney even put her health on the line for the cause and cornered the smokers: “I met so many National Director’s, Executive Director’s, Assistant Director’s and members from all over the world in the smoking area and hotel entrance – it led to several great 1-on-1′s,” she reveals.

Which One Tip Can You Pass On To Members?

“We need to share our success stories more,” Brent argues.  “Member success stories really help us build the BNI brand.  They also help us recruit – and maintain – members.”

Dan adds that BNI Directors who constantly refine tools and strategies will succeed in making BNI memberships more valuable, by teaching members better strategies to make money.

“The value of holding each other accountable is so important,” Louise points out.  “It limits time wasted, because members and chapters know what is expected, and when.”

Why Should Directors & Members Attend?

Valuable, lasting learning happens easiest in a positive environment – when you are enjoying yourself.  And for Louise the conference amply provided both: fun, and a very positive place to learn.  “Truly a unique experience,” she sums it up.

The outstanding content certainly makes it worthwhile for any member passing through or living close by to attend the Member’s Day, according to Brent.

“Director content is equally excellent, and the other attendees really respect that you have travelled so far, as most have,” Brent explains.  “They are happy to give you their time in return.”  For him, this is the place to tap into the knowledge of the many BNI ‘masters’, all in the one go.  “For personal development, as a BNI Director, this conference is unrivalled in the BNI calendar.”

Dan believes that every BNI Director should attend – to meet their peers and to exchange ideas.  He says “the contacts you make at these conferences last a lifetime!”

On Being a Director…

All our Directors seem to have left the BNI International Director’s Conference 2011 newly invigorated, armed with new tools, and bursting with new knowledge, motivation, and inspiration.  Not to mention the excitement at having connected with old and new contacts from across the globe.

Being a BNI Director can be hard work.

But as our interviewees’ responses show: it also has its rich rewards.

Categories : Events
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Have you ever been to a networking event where the goal of everyone around you seems to be to collect as many business cards as quickly as possible?  Wouldn’t it be better to connect with people rather than just collect their contact details?

Yes!  In October, we started our new series on networking, following the huge number of requests to cover this topic.  This month we’re looking at working the room.

But what does ‘working the room’ actually mean?  Here are a few points to keep in mind for doing just that.

Working The Room

As small business owners and members of BNI, we know that referrals drive business.  In fact, for small business owners like us there is no greater endorsement than a personal referral.  And what is the best way to help people make personal referrals to you?  Meet them!

So working the room is simply meeting people and connecting with them.

Look For An Opening

But there are often more people than we can actually meet at networking events.  How do we know who is open to meeting us?

Have a look at the picture below.  Which people would you walk up to?

Open Groups

Some of the people in the picture are standing in open groups, often called ‘Open Vs’ because of their shape.  Just like the letter itself, V-shaped groups allow people to talk while leaving an opening for others to join in.  And as we know, the more people who join the group, the more opportunities we have to connect with them.

Sorry We’re Closed

Some of the people in the picture are standing in closed groups.  They have their backs facing outwards and there is no space for people to join.  Closed groups repel others, which means no opportunities for connecting.

Are You Lost?  Can I Help?

There are a few ‘lost’ people in the picture, standing alone.  When you see a ‘lost’ person, remember the fundamental BNI maxim: Givers Gain®!  The person may be feeling nervous or alone.  Give them your time and attention.  Join them and start a conversation: you never know where it might lead.

Connecting With The Connectors

Standing in open groups and approaching people who look lost, are two good ways to become better networkers.  Another strategy is to connect with the connectors.

What does this mean?  Connectors are people who know hundreds (even thousands) of people.  They are the ones people mention first, and whose names come up time and time again.  Connectors are people who have built huge networks, through meeting and helping people.  They can provide you with a link to a great range of people, ideas, and information.

Keep an ear out for people saying, “You know who could help?  So-and-so, they know everyone!”

But don’t stop at meeting connectors, become a connector.  The easiest way to do this is to help people, to recommend an IT specialist to someone who needs help with their computer, or a great architect to someone renovating their house.  Over time, people will come to you for suggestions, which means you will also be front-of-mind when they need the services you provide.

So, when you are heading to your next chapter meeting or business-networking event, make sure you arrive early and leave late so you have time to work the room.

It’s been a long and eventful year for many businesses, and we are all looking forward to a well-deserved Christmas and New Year’s break.  Festive parties, holiday events in our businesses or with our clients fill our social calendar.  We’re busier than ever socially – and it’s fun!  But… could your chapter suffer?

Silly Season: Keep The Energy Up!

Does your chapter lose momentum as we inch (then suddenly bound!) towards the Holiday Season and Christmas?  Are you worried that your BNI “sales team” might lose focus amidst the festive frivolities, or that you will experience a dwindling number of referrals leading up to (and during) the holiday break?

Fear not!

We have assembled some great tips on how to conquer a possible holiday slump in your chapter, and to keep you and your chapter focussed – while having fun, and a good break.

So, What’s The Problem?

From early December to the Christmas break, and through the (long) period to Australia Day, it can be a tricky time for chapters.

After a year of building a great group, we become pre-occupied with the festivities.  Family and social engagements, plus the need for a break, can create high member absences in December and January, as businesses close and people take annual leave.  Australia slows down, and often even comes to a complete halt until Australia Day.

The potential problem for your BNI chapter is that absences can become a starting point for declining referrals and people dropping out.  So you need to get people back in the weekly habit as quickly as possible after the break.

But even during the holiday break you can keep the momentum going.

Keep It Strong – Keep The Break (and Absences) Short

One of the key elements that differentiates BNI from other networking groups, is its structure – combined with the weekly protocol.  Not unlike a business that has sales meetings each week, the strength of the BNI system lies in the frequency and the accountability it provides.

It’s like going to the gym: once you get out of the habit, it’s hard to get back on track.  It’s human nature.

BNI attendance is no different.

Breaks that run from three, to up to five or even six weeks are a concern.  That is a long time not to see your sales team – and your team not to refresh their memory of your business.

So what to do? The shorter the break your chapter takes – the easier it will be to get back on track.  And the more you continue to engage before and during the break, the better 2012 will be for you, your business, and your chapter.

10 Tips – Before the Break

It is important for the ongoing success of your chapter to close the year on a good, uplifting note.  After a busy and perhaps demanding year, you want to go into the holiday season on a light note that will make all members look forward to returning to the group soon.

Here are some tips on what you can do leading up to and at the last meeting of the year:

  1. Get creative – fun is healthy, and contagious!
  2. Make the last meeting of the year a “thank you!” meeting to acknowledge members’ input – and encourage continuance in the New Year.
  3. Create a secular advent calendar (or two if your group is big) with some treats.  Everybody likes a little surprise to sweeten their day.
  4. Have a champagne breakfast – bubbles go perfectly with those brekkie strawberries!
  5. Decorate your meeting venue. Create some ambience, surprise your chapter.
  6. Have a themed Sales Manager Minute – and have a prize for the best one – or make the last meeting a Holiday Season fancy dress event.
  7. Psst… Organise a Secret Santa.
  8. Do something festive for the 10-minute presentation, like having different members explain their Christmas, Hanukkah, Saint Nicholas Day, etc. traditions, and how they celebrate.
  9. Organise a December social event – a harbour cruise, a lawn bowls afternoon, a BBQ, attending a carols picnic together – the options are endless!  Involve partners and families to create more personal ties.
  10. Remember to be aware of the different religious and cultural backgrounds of your members, and be sensitive to them.

Keep in mind that most members tend to be small businesses, and the majority are owners or sole traders who might not have any other work related festivities planned.  Give them something to look forward to!

Include BNI in Your Holiday Plans – Have Fun!

To keep it humming, you ideally don’t want to close your chapter at all over the holiday period.  But the need for rest and family time might make that too ambitious a goal.

Consider creating opportunities to connect during the holidays in a relaxed atmosphere, especially in your powergroups.

Here are some thoughts and ideas for you and your chapter:

  • Not all companies close at Christmas other than for statutory holidays – so referral opportunities do not stop for long.
  • Continue to meet on your allotted day – but focus on, for example, internal training or projects.
  • Like any business, give your chapter the best start to the New Year – take the opportunity to plan ahead during the break. Together.
  • Encourage powerteams to meet during the ‘closed’ period in lieu of a standard meeting.
  • Be less formal with the meeting – extend the open networking section, have a themed Sales Manager Minute, and use the 10-minute for fun networking tips.
  • Have themed Sales Manager Minute like: “my ideal referral for 2012 is…”
  • Make the first meeting after the break a casual dress day if most people are still on holidays from their work or business.

So, even if you cannot achieve a no-break meeting schedule, try to keep BNI activity up during the break: your referral levels will stay up!

Got Any Tips?… Let us know at social.media@bni.com.au how your chapter is having fun while creating ongoing business during the holiday period.

We like to thank David Cole, BNI Ambassador, 9-year member and current President at BNI Sky Scrapers for his contribution to this article.  David currently serves on the BNI International Board of Advisors, which ensures open communication between our international members and BNI Headquarters.  David is also the founder of management and business consultancy firm Focused Management Business Coaching.

Welcome back to our series on the BNI Leadership Team roles! After looking at what the Education Co-Ordinator gets up to every week within their responsibilities, this time we turn our attention to the Event Co-Ordinator. This role represents the glue that binds chapter, members, BNI regional directors, visitors, and the greater community together.

Let’s take a closer look.

Did You Know…?

The Event Co-Ordinator will be known as Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator in future – you will hear more from us about that soon.

No mater the name, though: the role’s responsibilities come in a number of shapes and forms. If there is one role within BNI that has to wear many (and quite different) hats, than its this Leadership Team member!

As the Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator you perform a central role that ensures that members are well-educated, and get a chance to get to know each other better outside dances and regular meetings. For your chapter as a whole you open business opportunities that exist in your wider community. And you can have a lot of fun doing it – creativity is encouraged.

Liaisons Officer & Promoter

As a role that wears a serious and a fun(ny) hat, the Event Co-Ordinator has a hand in organising a large range of different events and related issues for your chapter. The position does important work connecting your chapter internally, with other local and regional BNI and networking groups – and in promoting you and your chapter to your local business community.

It’s All in a Day’s Work

“Training, Visibility, Fun and Growth!” are this Leadership Team member’s catch-cry when they organise and promote:

  • MSP, Leadership, and other BNI training events,
  • “Stack Days” (aka Focused Visitor Days) on which the whole chapter concentrates on inviting representatives of one particular unrepresented category,
  • Any trade shows and events the chapter wants to participate in,
  • Multi-chapter meetings,
  • Local Chamber of Commerce and community events,
  • Location of your chapter venue, and, of course,
  • Social events to build better relationships among all members.

They also assist the Leadership Team and Regional Director on any special projects, as it may be required.

Ideally, the Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator reports weekly to the group, to encourage members to bring visitors, and to connect with local businesses.

Keep it Busy in the Silly Season!

Successful chapters with switched-on Event Co-Ordinators know a little secret…

The best way to keep the referral-buzz going and business steady during times when regular meetings are off, is to organize a couple of social events for this time.

So, with the long-ish Christmas, New Year’s and Australia Day period not far away, this is something to think about now. In our December issue, we will give you tips on how to keep your connections going during your well-deserved and much-anticipated break after a long year.
Create extra referrals in a fun and relaxed way… Now that’s a nice stocking filler!

Can You Wear Two Hats?

Now that you know what your Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator gets up to – do you think you can fill those shoes on the next Leadership Team?

Or do you have an idea for a great social event for the Holiday Season – to keep relationships in your chapter strong and memories refreshed?

Speak to your Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator about your ideas – you will help strengthen bonds and make your chapter even more successful.

Categories : Events, Leadership Teams
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BNI Thailand’s enthusiastic members annually pass over 7,000 referrals, generating over 500 Million Baht worth of business. So it is no surprise that the 8 July 2011 BNI Thailand conference at the Crystal Design Centre, Bangkok, was a huge success. Members did what they do best – network and generate business.

BNI Thailand Goes Global

International delegates from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, UK, and Vietnam were among the participants in Bangkok. And the members’ overall feedback was enthusiastic: 2011 was rated the best National Conference yet.

Not only did over 400 BNI members take home new contacts, referrals, and new business – they also heard expert advice on Asia’s economic trends in the coming years. Preparations for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 were discussed and much valuable information shared.

Ringing In Another Busy, Successful Year

Mr Kollakit Thalerngnawachart (National Director of BNI Thailand) opened the conference with the help of Mr YP Lai (Co-National Director BNI Thailand, and National Director BNI Vietnam & Korea). Mr Lai declared the beginning of the BNI Thailand conference by ringing a giant bell at the opening ceremony.

Throughout the day, attendees visited the trade show booths of exhibiting businesses from across industries. There were stalls marketing anything form doorknobs to hair-colouring home-kits, to stands offering tastings of delicious traditional Thai food.

Illustrious Speakers

The BNI Thailand conference attracted an abundance of distinguished speakers from diverse corporations and organisations. The speakers list included representatives from the Bureau of ASEAN Economic Community Affairs, Department of Trade Negotiations, Macroprudential & Research Department, TMB Bank, AAPICO Hitech Public Company, ASEAN Business Forum, Farlim Group, Tarad Dot Com, and Bangkok’s Kinnaree Restaurant.

One of the non-BNI speakers summarised his experience like this: “Never before have I seen such active business networking and matching done anywhere else. I can only imagine the vast opportunities available to BNI members to meet new friends, colleagues, clients, or even business partners.”

Next year’s conference in September 2012 will see Dr Ivan Misner, the Founder and Chairman of BNI, attend the BNI Thailand conference. Another reason to make sure you do not miss next year’s Thailand conference.

An Agenda of Opportunities

After splitting into industry groups, the speakers and BNI directors were interviewed by the media to briefly introduce their businesses. A business matching session between the Thai members and the international BNI members was held in the afternoon. It was announced what each company was looking for, and matching businesses presented their services and products to potential buyers. The outcome was a powerful, lucrative business-matching session at the heart of the BNI Thailand National Conference.

Participants felt a sense of achievement as the BNI Thailand National Conference drew to a close. The Australian delegates Dan Garlick, Mandy Maybanks, Chris Rankin and Danny Ellerton were thoroughly impressed and vowed to come back next year.

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Small Fish Business Coach - Simon Thomas

This review was kindly provided by Simon Thomas a Small Fish Business Coach who is a member of the BNI Forest Chapter which is located in Sydney.

The clouds parted, the sun sparkled, and the closest available car park at the train station opened up as I came around the corner. This was the perfect start to what turned out to be an inspiring and fulfilling day.

Having only been with BNI for 10 months, I was really quite unsure as to what to expect. I rode the train into the city with the anxiety of having to meet hundreds of BNI members from all over Australia. Jeepers, did I have a massive wad of business cards weighing me down, I was not going to be caught empty handed. I arrived at the CitiGroup Building and proceeded to the dizzying heights of the 39th floor. What a glorious day to be high above beautiful Sydney. The harbour was glistening; the grass was green from past heavy rains and the sky bright from the cleansing of all the usual visible pollutants.

Much to my amazement the hordes of people for the event were minimal, in fact there were a total of about 70 people there for the day. The good news is that it certainly made it easier to get around, meet more people, and have longer, more meaningful conversations. The bad news is that everyone who missed the event did not get a chance to experience the innovation, excitement, and success of all the presenters and their respective regions.

So why was it that I spent all of Thursday night lying awake thinking of exciting things to tell BNI Forest the next morning at 7am? The biggest impact that this event had on me was the opportunity for true success. Not only for my BNI group as a whole but for me personally – the potential for my business. Oh, and there was also the fact that sex is different when networking. More on that later.

So, the big question for me going to this event was, what can we, as a chapter, implement to help us grow and achieve amazing results? The top three reasons for success in BNI chapters that personally hit home for me:

  • Accountability
  • Teamwork
  • Commitment

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. At face value, these are words that we expect but probably don’t spend a lot of time actually working on. But these really rang true for me because I had to ask myself: Are we as a group really being accountable for the passengers? Are we focused on developing a culture of teamwork where the truth in giving is all about others? And simply, is each and every member of the team as committed as they could be?

These words are not solely about BNI as an organisation. I walked away feeling like these should be engrained in our personal psyche and be a part of our mantra as business people seeking success for ourselves.

The truth in giving was evident throughout the day. This was borne out by the delivery of a lengthy and detailed email to my inbox the following day. It was from Bernie Hock – Regional Director (North Queensland). I had never met Bernie before, but we sat together throughout the day and he very happily provided me with insights into the success factors of his chapters. I now have the pleasure of going back to my chapter and assisting in the development of new ideas. Bernie agreed to stay in touch to see how we went. What an amazing display of commitment, teamwork, and accountability.

After the success of the day’s speakers, I whisked myself off to the evening event at the Grace Hotel. From the inspirational stories of how the BNI model can work for all of us, we moved into the more cheeky and fun part of the day. Networking.

All the way from the USA came Hazel Walker, co-author of “Networking and Sex, How Men and Women Do It Differently”. Hazel, with the assistance of Ivan Misner, surveyed over 12,000 people worldwide to get the insight into how we do it – networking – differently. It was an exceptionally humorous account of some of the findings and comments supplied back to the researchers. The takeaway from this session was that there is an absolutely clear difference in the way men and women communicate when networking, and that an awareness of this fact would benefit us all. I suggest you go check out the details at http://businessnetworkingandsex.com.

So, all in all it was an amazing day, if with a difficult sleep that night. I spent the rest of my night wondering how I could take this energy and enthusiasm back to my chapter to initiate change. Needless to say, the following morning my chapter copped a bouncing, no-holds-barred, adrenalin-junky speech about the success of the previous day. The great news for BNI Forest is that they all jumped on board…immediately. The great news for BNI Australia is that I look forward to telling everyone about our success at next year’s BNI Members Day. See you there!

Categories : Events
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BNI Learning is the new flagship online learning platform pioneered by the team of Directors of BNI in Australia, together with BNI Director of e-Learning Mark Graber who “in his spare time” is the Principal of Websmart Design.

With the support of Ivan Misner and the team at BNI HQ in the US, Australia is trialling new ways to effectively upskill members in world’s best BNI practices. This is absolutely necessary if we are to listen to adult learning principles, and help members get the most of their BNI experience.

To date over 1,700 members from around the world are active on BNI Learning, including over 700 members in Australia. Ready in time for the April training events, members were encouraged to complete 30 mins of online training on the “how to’s” of their new roles. This allowed the face-to-face training to go in more detail of the “why” of BNI practices, and the feedback from members has so far been outstanding!

For example in Perth where well over 100 members were trained, the feedback was:
- 93% of members felt that the online training answered their questions about their role and what was expected of them; and
- 94% of members said they would recommend this training to others.

We were particularly pleased that Members who had previously undertaken leadership training found the new training refreshing, and they gained new inspiration and knowledge to take back to their chapters.

Michael Sinclair said “I was impressed by the new format of leadership training. Instead of spending three hours going through who does what and when for each meeting, a quick 30 minute “how to” online training session with a short video went through these basics. The face-to-face group discussion fostered discussion between chapters, developing ideas that we could then bring back to improve our own chapters.”
Michael Sinclair, Harper Group Pty Ltd.

The new format of face-to-face training was conversational and, an aspect that was particularly appreciated, allowed members to share their knowledge and experience.

If you haven’t tried BNI Learning for yourself, go to www.bnilearning.com.au and check with your local BNI Director for your enrolment key!

Last week marked another round of successful Big Breakfasts for Executive Director Rob Warburton, this time in his regions of Sydney Northern Beaches & Sydney North Shore.

Held on Thursday 14th April & Friday 15th April at Long Reach Golf Club & Chatswood Golf Club respectively they had over 180 members and visitors along to network, build relationships and gain some new knowledge.

The big breakfast replaced the chapter’s regular weekly meeting and ran for the regular 90 mins, starting with open networking, two feature presentations and introductions from members. Both mornings members where still networking until 10am even though the meeting finished at 8:35am!

The topic of the morning’s meetings was “Communicating in the 21st Century” with Geoff Butler from Vestra Business Advantage outlining different communication styles and how to improve your public speaking skills. Whilst Natalie Alaimo from Natalie Alaimo International discuss the 8 tips to Success on Social Media.

“Many regions run Big Breakfast meetings with the goal of converting new members, said Executive Director Rob Warburton, and whilst we will gain some new members, our major goal is to provide high quality education to our members so they get value from attending the breakfast and based on comments received on the morning and since then we have certainly achieved our goals.”

Rob Warburton would like to thank Nicki Tofler from Nicki Tofler Events a BNI members who went above and beyond by arranging for Peter Sinclair from Onstage Presentations to assist with the technical staging of the breakfast. Peter donated his time and equipment to make sure the Big Breakfasts were successful. Thanks again Peter & Nicki.

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BNI Sydney CBD & South celebrated International Networking Week with an Open House at each of their chapters.

Chapters used the Open House to showcase their chapters to the wider business community and of course invite lots of visitors.

All previous visitors are invited back to join in the celebrations where chapter members make sure they are ready to meet and greet the visitors.

The record event for the region was All About Business (who have been showcased on our blog before – link to article) who had a massive 66 visitors, taking the mornings total to 120 people attending the event.

Of the contributing factors to All About Business success is that they run each weekly meeting using the Trade Show approach which means all members are in attendance, members have a sales attitude and all are wearing their name badge. It’s the simple elements of BNI which add up and make all the different.

Due to the number of people, the meeting format was lecture system instead of the usual u shape with the members presenting their Sales Manager Minute from the front of the room.

What happened in your region for International Networking Week? Share your comments below.

Categories : Events
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