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Networking by numbers – how ironic!

December 7, 2012
Sphere of influence

During a Bristol Business Network seminar about blogging the idea came to me – what does an event look like in terms of just numbers……

You start with your database – a combination of members and those people who have requested an invitation or been referred and recommended

Then you need to send an invitation – this has so many words in it or so few

Then you send a reminder, a confirmation and an invoice – this has its own unique number!

Perhaps some final event details – a request to table hosts – dependant upon the number of tables you have.  The seating plan the multitude of different combinations that you can have – thank heavens for some super software

Then the event itself – the number of miles that you travel perhaps even multiplied by the number of people attending

What about the number of steps that each and every one walks and that’s not just from the car park – the ineffective/manic networker trying to meet everyone may walk considerably more steps

At the table – the amount of cutlery, the number of glasses, coffee cups, chairs, napkins, cups of coffee, glasses of wine, juice and water and the chocolates with the coffee.  What about the number of ingredients during a 2 course meal with bread and butter, the number of special dietary requests that are needed.

The venue – how many staff are involved, how many steps have they walked to ensure that service is great and conversation flows

Conversations and 3 minute presentations  – how many of those and how many business cards are brought by people, how may are exchanged?  How many common words?  What is the percentage of new stuff compared to what has been said before?

A quick analysis of a recent BNSW event

90 people sat for lunch – that’s the easy bit!

75 members who attended were sent on average 6 emails (invitation, a reminder, confirmation, invoice, final details – a wrap up)

For 15 visitors who attended from a database of over 250 prospects it was a total of over 750 emails during the course of 4 weeks

90 people travelled an average distance of 15 miles using – I won’t go into the mpg – all I will say it got to be more eco-friendly to go to one place and meet people rather than driving round and round!

They all walked up – assumption – there was a lift! – 40 steps and the distance from the stairs to seminar and coffee to drinks and informal networking and then to lunch and the out was at least 500 steps.

In the seminar alone one number was 700,000 – the number of views that Marc Sheridan’s has had – thank Optix Solutions for this gem!

Over 180 knives, forks and spoons were used, over 130 coffee cups and saucers, over 200 glasses were imbibed from

Number of carrots used, potatoes peeled, shins of beef prepared – best ask the chef!

Words used during the conversations, notes made, what would the total be if you added up all the telephone numbers exnged?

Perhaps not as green as earlier – number of trees used to produce the business cards, promotional literature, pop ups (these are re –used and often aren’t made of paper – although I have seen bamboo ones!)

What about after the event – the follow up calls, the setting up of meetings and appointments, the number of key depressions made dialling numbers (I haven’t got a smart phone!)

I’m exhausted just by thinking about it and that’s without the multiplication and other factors – I trust that you get the picture

What does all this lead to – well fantastic opportunities because of the multitude of conversations that took place as people were relaxed and talking over lunch!

The irony of this article is that networking is about people – they have names, lives, hobbies, professions and realising that is the key to building successful relationships

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