Networking Tips

Inviting for the Speaker

a person giving tips to invite guests for speaker

One of the best ways to support your fellow BNI Members is to invite visitors to your Chapter who could benefit from watching someone’s featured presentation. In this way, you’re helping both the speaker and the visitor. The speaker gets a platform to address not only the Chapter Members, but a new audience as well, made up of potential customers and referral partners.

Your Secretary/Treasurer keeps a featured speaker list that is scheduled at least six weeks in advance. That’s plenty of time to identify guests who would see the value in watching the presentation. It’s also a great opportunity for the visitor to experience a BNI meeting and possibly apply for membership. It’s a win-win-win situation for the speaker, visitor, and inviter.

Here are some tips for inviting guests to their BNI meeting to watch a featured speaker and connect with them after the meeting:

1. Make a list of potential visitors.

Start by making a list of potential visitors who would be interested in hearing the featured speaker’s presentation. This could include clients, prospects, referral partners, friends and other business professionals in your network.

2. Personalize your invitations.

When you are inviting guests, be sure to personalize your invitations. This means taking the time to learn about each guest’s business and interests, and then tailoring your invitation accordingly. For example, you could mention how the featured speaker’s presentation could benefit the guest’s business. You may also consider writing a mini testimonial mentioning the speaker’s experience, quality of work, and trustworthiness.

3. Make it easy for guests to register.

Include a link to a registration page in your invitation email. This will make it easy for guests to RSVP and save their spot at the meeting.

4. Promote the event on social media.

Share information about the event on your social media channels. Be sure to include the date, time, location, and a link to the registration page. Go wide with a profession that can work with clients nationally. Keep it local for professions that need their clients to drive to an office, store, studio, or facility.

5. Follow up with your guests.

After you have sent out your invitations, be sure to follow up with your guests to remind them about the event and to answer any questions they may have. Prepare them to know what to expect for their in-person or online meeting.

6. Thank your guests for attending.

After the event, be sure to thank your guests for attending. You can do this by calling, sending them a personalized email or text or by posting a thank-you message on social media. Follow-up should be specific to how well you know your visitor. A casual text is fine for friends; more formal outreach is preferred for new acquaintances.

Here are some additional tips for BNI Members on how to invite for the speaker:

  • Start early. The earlier you start inviting guests, the more likely they are to fit the meeting into their schedule.
  • Be persistent, but not too persistent. Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVPed yet. If the second request does not elicit a response, move on.
  • Make it fun. Some Chapters host a drawing or contest for guests who attend the meeting.

By following these tips, you can successfully invite guests to your meeting to watch a featured speaker and show them what BNI is all about. It’s a great way to promote the speaker’s business, generate referrals, and introduce them to potential new business opportunities. It is also a great way to show appreciation for the speaker’s willingness to share their knowledge and expertise with your BNI Chapter — the perfect way to put Givers Gain® into action.

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