Has Business Networking become a poor educator?
Business networking has been around for a number of years now. Currently, it would seem that more and more people are setting up their own business networking groups - because for some, not only does it seems like a good thing to do and makes them feel busy and important, but they also see it as a way to build a database of contacts – despite perhaps not really serving any real targeted purpose for their core business.
The big problem with business networking today, is for some unknown reason such business networking meetings are having nothing really to do with business and if there are elements of business it could be as low as 10% of the content of the meeting.
Business Networking has become a poor educator
BNI was one of the first organisations to host business networking meetings and they proved to be quite effective and a good educator.
For many who attended BNI meetings they didn’t like the rigidness of the meetings, how things were timed to the second, how targets were set, and how the activity of business seemed very formal.
As a result these people (and there is a lot) have set up their own business networking groups and put their own twist on things to make their business networking meetings more attracting and appealing to others.
People will, would and do join these meetings because they are not timed to the second, they have no targets set, and best of all (in their mind) they are not as formal as business should be.
Fact is business is formal…!
Perhaps it wouldn’t surprise you to know that people, or should we say businesses which prefer to attend the non formal and diluted business networking meetings still wish to see the same results as if they were to attend a formal business event.
So whilst sitting in a modern business networking meeting listening to a few jokes from some person doing a 10 minutes, then someone else doing a sing song whilst playing a guitar - they cannot understand why there are no referrals offered to them when they are asking to be introduced to multinational companies with a turnover in excess of £50 million.
Believe it or not some business networking meetings have even had dance routines for people to watch whilst getting down to the brass tacks of business.
By all means make your company fun so as to break the monotony of things, but please remember that BUSINESS is not fun and the ones who especially do not think it is fun, are the very same businesses which are being targeted as a referral by others whilst attending business modern networking meetings.
Now for those who may have read as far as this - some may take exception to its content especially if involved with organising or attending non formal business networking meetings.
The point being made is as a business networking event you set your stall out and target the results accordingly. However if you do not make it clear to those attending that how your business networking format works is not strictly how business is done.
Then by definition it’s you who is the poor educator, and therefore possibly setting a bad example to others.
Yes people will like you, yes they might like the format - but that’s only because all of it provides them with a suitable distraction in having to deal with business in a formal manner.