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Networking and membership?

December 30, 2019

Why does Bristol Business Network have membership fees? In fact you could ask this question for any of the groups that charge membership fees.

gym membership.png

Membership of a networking group is no different than that of a gym….it’s all about commitment and doing things that will enhance/improve and make your life better.

Bristol Business Network is a membership based organisation/business and has been since 1993.- with some current members having joined then! The reason behind this is that with membership comes commitment and from that familiarity, likeability, trust and the conversations and connections that enhance business.

The majority of networking groups charge membership in some shape or form – and to be honest it is where the profit for them comes from – Bristol Business Network is no different in that respect.

Where it is different is that this is what I do – networking and networking events and making sure that the members and visitors get the best possible experience from the networking they do at the events.  Along with actively connecting people and businesses at the events and also between the events.  Any network host will have a plethora of contacts and connections that can be utilised – what makes the an exceptional host is someone who is connecting people without being asked!

And I am sure that you will find that all other networking groups where there is membership have people/hosts/group leaders who are there solely to ensure that you get the most from your membership……

  • the events are planned well in advance enabling you to plan your activity
  • the events are held at venues that deliver great food in super surroundings
  • speakers and Business Enlightenment and Effectiveness session hosts are organised offering business enhancing sessions
  • the venues are briefed to ensure that each event goes to plan,
  • that at each event there the correct number of seats, the table plan worked out in advance, you have your badge, event details, delegate list
  • that your table is hosted by someone who is experienced, enthusiastic and keen to give you the best possible networking experience
  • that you receive all the relevant correspondence in a timely fashion – the booking details, your confirmation, your invoice, post event details so that you can follow up
  • that your payments/invoices/receipts are handled easily, securely and correctly
  • that you know what to prepare for for each event to ensure that you get the best use of your time
  • actively seeking to connect people, share collaborations, engage in conversations and facilitate opportunities
  • they inspire, motivate and communicate to set the tone for great events
  • deal with any requirements that you may have – dietary, access, contact details, directions, parking arrangements
  • to share – your good news, what you are looking for, what your clients are looking for (whether it is a piano tuner or miniature ponies!)
  • that guests you wish to bring are fully briefed

Being a member of a networking group whether it be Bristol Business Network, 4N, BNI, NRG, IoD is all about taking the time to get to know the members and the ways you can help – whether it is support, information, introductions, collaborations developed on a regular basis (breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks).  By becoming an active listener you will see how you can help the people you meet. Then following up with a simple e-mail or telephone call to have a further conversation, a 121, meeting, maybe even sharing a connection.

You and the people that you do meet regularly networking will become advocates going out of their way to recommend your goods and services without being asked or expecting anything in return. It is the time taken to develop the relationships with key members of your network/group/chapter that will lead to the greatest rewards….

With a multitude of networking contacts – some direct and some indirect, you can find everything you need for a successful business, employees to hire, a job for you, business intelligence, barter/contra contacts, or advice in a multitude of areas.  As well as inspirational. positive thinking, enthusiastic people who will enhance and add to your success – and celebrate that with you. Nothing can take the place of a wide range of trusted business contacts. It is the most valuable thing you can own. It really is and Porter Gales book – Your Network is your Net worth.

By attending the networking events on a regular basis and going out of your way to connect to key members of the network you become an advocate and in true “abundance” (and I’ll use an NRG sentence!) “what goes round comes round. People will eventually become advocates for you – and this is where the networking dividend really pays out!”


Sean Humby – event host and writer of this post

Want to know more?


2020 Dates for Events in Bristol

To book your place/get your invitation

Call 01981 540708 or 07807 941927



with “book my place for Bristol” and I will arrange everything – how to prepare, confirmation, any dietary requirements and your invoice


 Complete your details here

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