Invite a freind or colleague to come along and help fill a vacant category - Consider inviting someone from outside your group who knows someone in a vacant category (e.g. plumber) and ask them both to come along.
Invite someone to listen to the main (e.g. 10 minute) speaker for that meeting - if the main speaker from your group is of potential interest to a guest why not ask them along to enjoy the presentation.
Ask a valued and satisfied customer or associate to come along and support you - Why not bring a happy and valued customer along - perhaps they could give a testimonial during your group’s business round.
Bring someone along to help promote a charity or local good cause you support - If you or your business support a charity of good cause why not ask them to come along and talk about the good work they are doing. The additional exposure may enable them to get more support an even find new suppliers from you group.
Invite someone to come and listen to your 10 minutes - If you have a client or potential client who could benefit from your extended (e.g. 10 minute presentation) why not invite them along when it's your turn.
Invite them to come along and check out the venue - Give your venue owner a helping hand by inviting someone along who may enjoy using it for their own business or during leisure time.
Invite someone along to promote a specific or new product or service they are offering - If one of your clients or friends has a new product or service why not help them get more exposure by inviting them along to the next group meeting.
Invite them to meet a specific person - If there is someone in the group that your customer or associate would benefit from meeting, why not invite them specifically to meet that person.
Invite someone to listen to a guest speaker - Guest speakers are often of interest to a broad cross section of businesses so why not invite someone along from outside the group next time there is a an opportunity.
Invite someone to a group visitors day - I have deliberately left this until last as a vibrant and thriving network group invite people to experience the group even when there is no visitors day. That said a visitors day can offer several of the above opportunities in one hit as well as the added bonus of much wider exposure then a standard meeting.
Protocol guides for inviting visitors to BoB
Initially explain the benefits of visiting BoB (rather than joining) – use some of the positive statistics from any membership surveys or measurement of business passed that you have undertaken.
If you enjoy any specific aspects of your regular or “away day” group venue or catering tell your visitors when persuading them to visit the group.
Always follow up your initial conversation with an email or letter.
Ensure that your confirmation includes date and arrival time plus when you expect the meeting to finish. Include the venue address and directions.
Ask them to send any special dietary requirement to whoever is coordinating the meeting.
Send them a list of who is expecting to attend the meeting.
Offer some advice about finding suitable parking and explain any rules you are aware of about timing.
Consider using a template email/letter prepared by your networking group.
Send your contact a reminder the day before the meeting so that you can confirm numbers with your meeting coordinator.
Always follow up with an email or call asking what your visitor did and did not enjoy about the meeting and feed this back to the group committee. If they enjoyed the meeting ask if they would like to come along again or even join the group!