New visitors are the life blood to any networking group, as making great new connections is what drives us to attend networking events.
Bringing guests to the group will; lift the atmosphere, provide a boost to the members, generate more business and more awareness. For a networking group to survive and thrive it needs to have a critical mass of regular 25 attendees and members.
The most effective ways of getting visitors to a group has been found to be:
- Send a personalised invitation (not a blanket one).
- As you talk to people on the phone, invite them to your networking group.
- Create an event on LinkedIn and invite your connections
- If you are on Twitter. Tweet an open invitation
- Create an event on Facebook and invite your connections
- Organise a meeting with an associate directly after a networking meeting and suggest that they come along with you to the lunch itself
- Invite your customers
- Invite your suppliers
- Invite someone allied to your industry
- Invite other people you meet at other networking groups (strong contenders as they are already in the networking mind set)
- Ask an associate to substitute for you if you are going to be away
- Talk about your networking group on your website, publish a blog article & finish it with a call to action e.g. if you’d like to visit Avanti then give me a call on xxx
- If you publish a company newsletter talk about networking in that and invite readers to attend
- Market & invite at exhibitions such as ABE / Chamber of Commerce / Menta etc.
Remember – you are not selling anything, they are not obligated to join. You are simply ‘inviting’ them to lunch where they can talk to other business owners about their product or service.