The more the merrier?

My business is business networking, we have Groups who meet every two weeks and there is membership. We also have a maximum number in Groups of 25 and our Groups start small and grow organically to that number. When people contact me about visiting a Group one of the questions I am often asked is “How many are in the Group?” To me this is based on the idea that the more people you have in a room the more chances there are of getting business. That has never been my experience.

I have been to networking events of over 600 people and a) You could not hear yourself think b) It was all sell, sell, sell and c) I did some great networking with the small group of people who sought peace in the bar.

My Groups are small, start small and remain under 25, and we do have a waiting list so I could choose to get more into some of our Groups. Why this decision? When I network I want to meet people who are there to build relationship, share knowledge, give support and then, when there is a strong mutual trust, refer people. The important part of this is building relationships, and I think this is best done, at any one time, with a small number of people.

As a business owner, it could be argued, that I should want to get really large Groups and make the most money. I disagree. I want my members to get the most from the business networking they do in their Groups and from the membership they pay. Within any one of my Groups there is a ‘Feel’ almost impossible to pin down but based on a mutual support of each other and on the strong relationships that have been developed. So, what I want for the members in my Groups are not just numbers of people there but of people who understand that building relationships is the most important thing about business networking. This is not a numbers game.

What do you think?

Have fun.

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