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shaneod

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Has anyone tried signing up with BNI? I went to one of their open days the other day. It was like a cross between an infomercial and a pantomime. Endless repetition of the basic points and the host insisted in audience participation. I half expected to see Louis Theroux standing at the back of the room with a puzzled look on his face.

The presentation ended without an open floor questions and answers session, which I had hoped it would have, in fact I've never been to a presentationt hat didnt allow the audience to ask question in front of all the other atendees. They directed you to ask questions individually to BNI members at the side of the hall. Dissappointing becasue I was all set with a few tricky enough questions, such as,

- What's the drop out rate for new members after year 1, 2 and 3?
- Where does the 600 euro go seeing as you have to pay a tenner a week to cover each meetings expenses.

I was looking forward to hearing other issues a room full of business people might come up with and ever since I'm really suspicious of the way they dodged this one, Also I found the way they expected you to sign up there and then very off putting, but maybe I'm being harsh.

Anyways, I think maybe I'm letting my dislike for the presentation style the other night get in the way of what might actually be a decent way of networking, although you do have to commit a lot of time to it and it's quite expensive.

So, has anyone tried this? I'd be very interested to hear how you got on?

Thanks,

Shane
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
We were members of the Carlow chapter a few years ago

On the plus side I got to meet new people from a variety of different backgrounds, which was good.

However the actual value it brought for our business was miniscule
 

shaneod

New Member
Yea, I can't decide, like in theory it makes a certain amount of sense, especially for web designers as everyone needs a website. But then you seem to be forced into putting a lot of time each week into meeting the chapter and then meeting people one to one, sher yer week would be gone before you know what's going on. I'm sure it works well for some people and not so well for others, depending on the make up of your particular chapter.

Like i said above, the lack of an open Q&A session is deeply suspicious o my mind, Also why are you expected to take a 800 euro gamble, why can't someone sign up for 3 months and test the waters. Also where does the 600 euro annual fee go exactly? If there's 40 people in a chapter X 600 notes each that's quite a bit of money.

Could someone set up and online version of the same thing and charge a lot less??? Linkdn anyone?
 

tomed

New Member
Hi

I was a member of a couple of chapters in my time. Initially it was great for business, but it wasn't long before you'd got everything you could out of it. The only option then was to move on.

The bit I hated most was the need to have a lead for someone each week. After time I found myself giving leads that weren't "real" leads, in the sense of, the person hadn't decided to make a purchase, but were just thinking about it.

Tom
 

Calvin141170

New Member
I don't think you can overstate the importance of business networking, but I'm not convinced by the BMI formula... or the price tag :-(. And that's just from reading the blurb and stuff online.

People keep asking me to go along to this chapter or that -- but they're always miles away (I live down in West Cork) and I can't help feeling it would be a waste of time.

For the "meeting like minded people" side of things I'm a member of the local SOHO Solo chapter, although recent changes are making me wonder about that too -- but then €75 per annum is hardly going to break the bank. There's also the local Enterprise Board's small business network, and Open Coffee (if I ever manage to make it to one of the meetings).

Between them and my distributed online network I have more than enough networking opportunities to keep me going without forking over hard-earned dosh to BNI.

That's not to say it doesn't work well for other people -- but from my perspective it's a case of "Thanks... but no thanks!"

(NB. I can't add links to SOHO Solo West Cork or the West Cork Enterprise Board's Small Business Network because I haven't posted here ten times, and the Irish Webmaster Forum has decided it doesn't trust me yet -- you could always Google them if you're interested)

Cheers,

Calvin!
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
(NB. I can't add links to SOHO Solo West Cork or the West Cork Enterprise Board's Small Business Network because I haven't posted here ten times, and the Irish Webmaster Forum has decided it doesn't trust me yet -- you could always Google them if you're interested)
It's nothing personal :) We just had to block people from spamming the forum with ads for herbal solutions *cough*
 

Calvin141170

New Member
I figured as much -- although part of me was ready to believe you were blocking links BECAUSE you know me from elsewhere -- particularly as I was tweeting about affiliate stuff yesterday ;-)!

Notice my signature is stripped out too -- I guess for similar reasons. Better get those 10 posts in quick!

Cheers,

Calvin!
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
I figured as much -- although part of me was ready to believe you were blocking links BECAUSE you know me from elsewhere -- particularly as I was tweeting about affiliate stuff yesterday ;-)!
Didn't notice and probably wouldn't have cared :) (I run Monetise It :) )


Notice my signature is stripped out too -- I guess for similar reasons. Better get those 10 posts in quick!
Yes. Prior to changing the links and signatures the board was being swamped on a daily basis by "paid to spampost" scumbags

M
 

achieve

New Member
Why not setup your own independant network or club. There are a couple of these in Galway. That's what we did. If you can get 3 or 4 committed members to start with / form a committee, off you go. I'm a member of Galway Business Club a vibrant network that delivers. However bear in mind that it isn't a one way street, and you need to "give" in order to "receive", and it does take time to bulid up trust with members. PM or email me if you want more info.
 

Calvin141170

New Member
Didn't notice and probably wouldn't have cared :) (I run Monetise It :) )
You mean you're not hanging on my every tweet? :(

Looking around at affiliate programmes I find myself wishing I was in the US. That doesn't happen often, but the choice seems so depressingly limited for site(s) with a predominently Irish audience. Finding good, relevant affiliate products to promote seems to be a real bitch.

Guess as usual in the online marketing world IE is playing catch-up with the rest of the developed world. This is getting a bit off topic... but any recommendations? (other than starting up some US based sites of course)

Yes. Prior to changing the links and signatures the board was being swamped on a daily basis by "paid to spampost" scumbags
It happens everywhere I guess... shame it has to come to that -- but it makes sense.

Cheers,

Calvin!

Oh... it even blocks links in quotes from other people who are allowed to post links!
 

shaneod

New Member
Why not setup your own independant network or club. There are a couple of these in Galway. That's what we did. If you can get 3 or 4 committed members to start with / form a committee, off you go. I'm a member of Galway Business Club a vibrant network that delivers. However bear in mind that it isn't a one way street, and you need to "give" in order to "receive", and it does take time to bulid up trust with members. PM or email me if you want more info.
Sounds interesting but I don't think I'd have the time or the connections really to start up my own gig, in fact, I question if I'd have the time to commit to BNI at all. Last thing I need is endless meetings most of which aren't going anywhere.
 

achieve

New Member
The time commitment need not be huge, however there is a time issue with regards to setting up same, but once setup it runs fairly seemlessly. We meet once a week on a Wednesday morning at 8am over breakfast. I'm normally back in the office by 10.
 

neweb

New Member
I was a member of the Fingal Chapter for a number of years. As was stated here before, you end up getting leads only to find it is going nowhere.

For the first year I made money the second I broke even after that it was costing me money.
I got kicked out for smoking at a meeting :D

The little xxxxxx thought he was god by that point. Someone had just joined that clamed they could heal your ingrown toe nail by stuffing a magnet up your arse (or something to that effect) anyway, this person was only a member for 2 weeks and they upended the whole chapter.


As for your 600 or 800 fee.... That goes to the high priest of the order back in the states
 

nevf

New Member
May I ask, why the hell did any of you guys throw €600-€800 in the direction of something you didn't know where your money was going?

I wouldn't give a euro on the street to a charity without knowing where the money was going, never mind over €600 to a 'network' that had no rewards.

For that money, a community website could have set up, an SMS communications system of sorts and a forum to talk on.... and then one hotel or such could have been given free membership on the basis that they provide a room for 6 hours aggregate per week(and they coffee paid for seperately)...

Of course, that's just me spending money in my head, but surely €600 into a bucket with no base in it is crazy? For example, pretend that there's 40members, a number suggested above, and each pays €600 annually, thats €24,000 for a network.

....Or of course there's the Open Coffee Club's.... There was one set up recently in Mayo, and when it develops, imo, it'll be better than any other type of commercial network that could happen in Mayo.
 
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