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A Journey Through BNI: The #INW19 “Connect 5” Initiative

The 2019 #INW19 “Connect 5” Journey: Enlightenment through experience

On 3rd February BNI CEO + Community Builder, Graham Weihmiller, departed BNI’s Global Headquarters en route to New York City. Throughout the subsequent week (#INW19), Graham visited Five Member countries and International Business Hubs. During his journey, he met with some incredible BNI Members & Leaders for an experience that truly represented the global reach of BNI.

Provided below is a visual recap of that incredible journey.  For more information on International Networking Week, please click here.

“Connect 5” Highlights

A Serendipitous Connection – New York City, New York

Ian Scott – a BNI Director Consultant from New York City and a terrific 20 year BNI Leader, describes some terrific serendipity – a referral to his wife Lauren (another BNI Director Consultant).

A Celebration of New Beginnings

BNI Leaders celebrated the Chinese New Yeat at the beautiful Crowne Plaza in Guangzhou City Centre – a very gracious event arranged by BNI Member Colar Chan, who is the Director of Sales & Marketing at the hotel. The following morning, Graham met with BNI Leaders at the Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe to see how BNI can best help SMEs grow a global business. A special thanks to Stella Yung, Stanley Kong, and Cindy Yung for their leadership and hospitality!

Passionate Dedication to Givers Gain®

Question: Who goes to the symphony at 7:30am in the morning?!

Answer: impressive business leaders who believe in the power of Givers Gain!

The BNI Symphony Chapter in Bangalore is serious about business and serious about keeping the Fun in fundamentals! With a retention rate of 97%, Symphony’s 72 Members have passed 6,120 referrals in the last 12 months leading to over $4.8 million USD in closed business. BNI Bangalore has 2,277 Members overall and has passed 148,283 referrals in the last 12 months leading to over $90 million in closed business. Get ready for this: BNI India has 26,780 Members. These awesome Members have passed 1,523,699 referrals in the last 12 months leading to over $1.5 billion USD in closed business! And they’re just getting started…

A Beautiful & Bright Future

Did you know that the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 828 meters (2,717 feet) and 163 floors, is the world’s tallest building. It is perfectly symbolic of the ambition of BNI UAE, and it provided a picturesque backdrop for their event at The Lounge in downtown Dubai. Here, exceptional BNI Members and Leaders outlined their plans to support the UAE’s continued growth as a global commercial hub.

Together, with Graham, they celebrated International Networking Week, and cheered this team’s ambitious plans for the future. A special thank you to Bijay and Anna Shah for their wonderful hospitality, and terrific thought leadership. Keep an eye on BNI UAE, there are big things underway!

The Foundation for Global Growth

Question: decades ago, which country within BNI’s 70 countries became BNIs springboard to the world?

Answer: BNI UK!

With 11,400 Members and exceptional leaders like Phil Berg, Gillian Lawson, Charlie Lawson, Tim Cook, Russ Sawdon, and Rishi Bhuptani, BNI UK is a major force for good.

A Special Thanks

A special thanks to Kevin Barber , the originator of the Connect 5 Trip Concept. Celebrating #INW19 with BNI Members & Leaders in 5 countries in 5 days is an unforgettable experience.

Purpose-driven business leaders, by growing fantastic businesses and contributing back to their communities, can make this world a really collaborative and prosperous place for everyone. This was apparent during BNI’s 2019 International Networking Week.

Thank you to Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, who has inspired all of us in BNI to be our best selves by focusing on Givers Gain. There’s never been more excitement about the future of BNI.



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