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Thursday, November 04, 2010

BNI: Why Attend a Live Conference?

When I started managing medical conferences at the Mayo Clinic nearly 15 years ago, I was told that the job may be short lived because face-to-face conferences were going away. Technology like tele-conferences and video-conferences would soon replace the face-to-face meetings.

I refused to believe it then and today I feel even stronger about the value of attending real live conferences. According to Keith Ferrazzi, author of Whose Got Your Back, we are on the verge of a relationship revolution.

The single most important reason to attend live conferences is to do something that even the best communication technology or social media tools today are unable to recreate: Human Interaction! Meeting people face-to-face and getting to know strangers across different cultures that you would possibly never have “bumped into” otherwise is the reason to go. Nobody will or even can do business with everybody who they meet and get to know at those conferences, but the idea is to make sure you do business with those you really connect with and befriend the rest. In the spirit of “Givers Gain” you may be able to help others in ways you never imagined and a reciprocal relationship will begin.

The value that you will get out of these types of interactions is virtually impossible to quantify. The consequences of these complex social interactions are totally unpredictable. Most interactions may seem to produce only casual contacts at first, however, the opposite can be true as well. The effects of meeting just one strong contact can change your life completely.

“Through our participation in Get Connected 2010, we received the largest referral we have ever gotten. It completely changed the course of our business and shifted us into financial success. And it’s still working for us.” Amy Kilpatrick & David Crumbaugh, Nspired Networking, LLC

Most of us already see the value of networking during the course of our normal business week and we regularly attend events. Yet we question the value of investing in a live conference. Tell me; at the events you currently attend do you keep running into all the same people? Open the door to new opportunities. by attending conferences to meet new people. Those who think like you, who are passionate about doing business by referral, and want to grow their business. Meeting other like minded people is like “reaching an oasis in the desert” in the scope of our global marketplace.

“…there is a sense of deep enrichment at being able to 3D-ify your mental image of the people you know from online spaces.” “While I do learn from the formal presentations, I learn as much or more from chatting over coffee. The sum of all the little things learned during the course of a conference adds up to enormous value.”
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By attending conferences in-person rather than attending something like a webinar, you form stronger bonds with people and create long lasting contacts with whom to share ideas on a regular basis for mutual growth and success. “The value you get from attending an excellent conference much more than makes up for the cost of attending.” Gloria Metrick, GeoMetrick Enterprises

If you are operating your business from a place of lack or fear that you are unable to participate in Conferences, you might as well just shut down your production line because you are cutting off your referral source - the next new opportunity for major growth……

Get into the Big Game in businesses conferences during International Networking Week; attend Get Connected 2011, February 4-6, 2011 in Houston, Texas.

So it is obvious that there is potential value in attending live conferences, let’s discuss how to ensure your return on investment.

Ten Plus Ways to get Value from Attending a Conference:

Have a Plan: Go in with goals in mind. Who is it you want to meet, what is it you want to learn, what needs to happen to get your return on investment? It will happen if you are open and aware of what it is.

Find Your Tribe: Connect with like minded people, people in your industry, people dealing with the same issues, people who do business with people they know like and trust, people with the same goals in achieving business success.

Listen to the People you Meet: What are they looking for, how can you help them? Live by the philosophy of “Givers Gain”. A good networker has two ears and one mouth – use them proportionately. How can I help you?

Make Good Connections: Set appointments during your free time with people you have met and get to know them better. You may have an opportunity to build strategic partnerships.

Offer Your Products or Services: Be a sponsor to share your products and services with attendees

No time for Selling: This is a time to build relationships. Use this face-to-face opportunity to really get to know people – personally and professionally.

Getting the Latest: Learn the latest in your industry or in business practices

Practice Your Skills: Sharpen your skills and learn new skills to improve your business

Be a Speaker: Are you in expert in your industry? No better way to demonstrate your skills and professionalism in your business than to speak about it at a conference.

Re-Energize: Get fired up again! We all get worn down from life and business. Take the time to get re-energized by being around others who feel the same way. The motivational messages and inspirational education will send you home ready to re-invest the time and energy you need to increase your business.

Speaker/Sponsors: Edify each other; incorporate elements of each other’s presentations in your own. Introduce people you meet to each other, from booth to booth, pass them on. Keep the conversation going or point out who they need to meet among the S/S team.

Join us for Get Connected 2011, February 4-6, 2011 in Houston, Texas and test out your new skills.

LuAnn Buechler, CMP is the Passionate Owner of PMC Events & Travel, a Professional Motivational Speaker and a BNI Director from Minnesota. Her burning desire is to create events that inspire people to achieve the success they desire by "getting connected" to the tools, education and people they need to be successful.

With over 5,500 active chapters, and over 100,000 members throughout every populated continent worldwide, BNI is the largest and most successful business referral organization in the world. BNI was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ivan Misner and the organization, which allows only one person from each profession to join a chapter, offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts, and most importantly, referrals. Last year alone, members of BNI passed 6.2 million referrals, generating 2.6 billion dollars’ worth of business.

For more information on BNI, please visit or call BNI Headquarters at 909.608.7575.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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