23rd October 2012

Business Networking: Tired, boring, needs a new model

The giant industry that is business networking, trade shows and conferences has let the many new technologies and media pass it by.

The business models of the providers have virtually no integration with the many new technologies. Here are just 3 examples and our apologies for being so blunt about them:

Referral groups**: Meet every week, lots of small businesses. High turnover of members in nearly every group. Pay up front for 12 months, expensive and no guarantee of results. Pressure to give referrals to people you barely know. Compulsory attendance every week, so a big time investment, and you hear the same presentation over and over again from the other members. No integration to Social Media so you can’t stay in touch between meetings, and can’t connect to the many other groups around the country.

Trade Shows: Rent a stand, huge effort and cost to set it up and to send staff. You don’t know who is coming to the show so you can’t plan to meet them, and the organisers provide no way to stay in touch after the event.

Professional Conferences: Huge entry fees. Speakers who have paid to speak (= sponsors!) and therefore spruik their services. You have no knowledge of who’s attending so you can’t arrange meetings, and again no effective way to stay in touch. And what about webinars after the event to build on what you learnt and ask all those questions you’ve now thought of?

There is a better way. It’s simple and recognises the value of the scarcest resource in business: Time.

BizPlus launches on November 7th in Sydney and then we are rolling it out. You can learn more and book here.

**And yes, there are individual referral groups that work well. But we also know from extensive research that they are a tiny minority. And they ignore the powerful online tools.

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About James Eastland

Creating Customer Communities for companies selling B2B is my passion—shortening their sales cycle and building market leadership. My role sets the direction and vision of Lead Creation, tapping into the online experience of our large team of young professionals to implement cost effective strategies for B2B businesses.

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