Get the Most from the Meeting Pt.1
Arriving on Time

Not Your Average BNI

In most  BNI meetings, members would be asked to arrive at 6:30am and leave after 9am, but since our BNI meetings take place at lunchtime, I strongly encourage you not to do that.

At a BNI breakfast meeting, visitors would typically be asked to arrive at around 6:45am for open business networking and the meeting agenda will last around 90 minutes, allowing them to grab some breakfast and be on their way by about 8.30am.

Here at BNI Reading Oracle we are asking visitors to arrive at about 11.45am, so we recommend that members arrive at 11.30am.

First Impressions

The main reason to arrive early is for the benefit of those visitors who like to arrive early. It's important that they don't find themselves in an empty room with only a waiter or waitress from Loch Fyne to keep them company.

The reason we invite visitors to these business networking meetings is because we think they might benefit from an allegiance with the BNI Reading Oracle chapter. And in order to start building those allegiances, we need a good first impression: We want visiting business people to see a thriving, busy, professional and organised meeting taking place from the very beginning.

The Meeting is For the Visitors

These meetings are not really for members. We can keep in touch with each other throughout the week and pass referrals as soon as each opportunity arises. The weekly meeting gives us a focus for our efforts, but the most important thing it gives us is a chance to meet new people: our visitors.

So, while it good to catch up with fellow members before and after each meeting, we could arguably be doing that any time. But the open networking before and after lunch could be our only opportunity to make a lasting impression on the people who visit us. Some visitors will become members, others are just passing through, but any of them could become useful contacts, customers or strategic partners in our businesses.

In some cases they will pass us referrals based on a single meeting, just because the nature of a BNI meeting helps us to establish our own credibility and impresses that visitor enough that they feel they have met a supplier they can trust.

90 Minute Member

So don't be a 90 minute member. Arrive early when you can, because the early bird catches the worm and if you're here before your fellow members it gives you an opportunity to monopolise a distinguished visitor.

 

Jon Ewing
Education Coordinator, BNI Reading Oracle
and Director, inframes.com ltd

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