What is the Network better programme?
The Network better programme is made up of two strands:
- a series of workshops which help a fixed group of client staff and partners/directors to develop their referral marketing abilities, and deal with any reservations they may have about doing this
- a series of carefully facilitated events for those in the workshops, plus other client staff and partners/directors, and their guests (clients, suppliers and so on). The attendance at the events will be limited to twelve from the client and twelve guests.
Events and workshops are interleaved, typically one event and one workshop a month. The events will facilitate:
- practising, and learning from the experience of practising
- applying useful principles—we find that people remember new ideas, and are willing to put them into practice, only when they have experienced deploying them (and done it more than once).
- teach people tried and tested theory, to give the networking experience some support, and to give credibility to what we ask attenders to do in the events
- review their experiences of the facilitated events, enabling people to learn from them. Participants in each workshop are both prepared for the next event and have the opportunity to discuss how they got on in the previous event
- establish for each person what works best for them
- overcome any reservations attenders may have and the difficulties we all have when trying something different. (This is important.)
Typically workshops are monthly (up to six); each event follows a workshop at some point before the next workshop (so also up to six). The training and/or events may be extended for any number of months by mutual agreement.
Bespoke monthly events
Events are lunches or dinners.
- those in the workshops
- others in the client firm
- those people’s invited guests, such as clients, suppliers
Max 24 people, three tables of eight.
- Martin Davies, cofounder of NRG Networks, who has been hosting business networking events for fifteen years
- a manager from the client’s staff (whom we will ensure is adequately prepared to do this)
- Jeremy Marchant, who has hosted countless events, not least as an associate of NRG, and is an expert in business relationships, specifically referral marketing and the networking needed for it.
Timetable of an event
- all sit down for meal
- on each table, over meal, each person has 2+ minutes to introduce themselves
- on each table, general discussion led by table host—this will carry on whilst eating
- on each table, Mastermind session led by table host
- no speaker.
It’s intended that each client person knows at most about half of the people around their table. The experience will push people out of their comfort zone, but not too much.
These events give them a ‘safe’ environment to practise so that:
- they can report back their experiences in the workshops and further learn from them
- ultimately, they can be confident when they have to do it on their own.
The point of filling the events with 50% clients and others is:
- it is a nice, frankly inexpensive but useful, ‘freebie’ to offer clients and suppliers who ought to get something from the events
- it will be a non-threatening context for guests who may have their own issues about networking
- guests will be known to at least some of the attenders of the workshops.
Programme of monthly learning workshops
- is inhouse―participants are drawn from the client staff and directors/partners (no guests from outside the firm); participants will also attend the monthly events
- is tailored to the needs of the market sector and client
- may have some involvement of the client’s trainer department
- is designed to get participants networking effectively and enjoyably so that they can…
- …develop referral relationships which are valuable to the firm.