Ryze - Business Networking Buy Ethereum and Bitcoin
Get started with Cryptocurrency investing
Home Invite Friends Networks Friends classifieds
Home

Apply for Membership

About Ryze


Internet Marketing Tools
Previous Topic | Next Topic | Topics
The Internet Marketing Tools Network is not currently active and cannot accept new posts
What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?Views: 748
Oct 02, 2005 10:10 pmWhat is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

What is the real problem with business mixers? Why is it so hard to get folks to attend - even folks who are paying members? What is going on here?

Where I live the mixers are free to attend and provide lots of food and refreshments. The individual business that agrees to host the mixer not only supplies the space but the food. Thefore, even though the public attends for free, there is a serious expense involved here. Why would there be an attendance problem?

Could it be that many small businesses people do not know how to behave at a mixer? Could it be they do not know how to benefit from being in a room with a lot of people? Is business networking something that most people do not know how to appropriate, but refuse to admit ignorance on the matter? Therefore, rather than show themselves to be somewhat awkward in such surroundings, the better option is simply to avoid the event.

Or, is the problem not with with the general public, but with the host for the mixer? Is there something that ALL hosts for mixers should be doing when a business mixer takes place, besides showing themselves to be hospitable? Are there some things a mixer host should do in an effort to assure a good turnout? For example, send PSA's to the local newspapers, post to Ryze's Event section (See Middletown Merchants Mixer) and make lots of personal phone calls.

I appreciate some feedback on this matter as I prepare for an October 20th mixer in "Small Town USA."

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
Creating a buzz for business in the boardroom


Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Oct 02, 2005 10:34 pmre: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Wolf Halton
I think the "Not know how to behave" answer is the most likely. Have I been invited to one of your mixers? I know "What you have to do at mixers". You have to have a 30-second "what I do, and who are my best prospects" speech. You have to give the speech to a few people and meet them as if you were there to help them. If everybody takes that tack, then there is no chance of a super-recruiter, or super-promoter to dominate the group. In my experience, the people who organize these groups intimidate the hell out of those of us who do not. You, as a promoter, may not realize what a high bar you set, and how nervous people are to attend if they think they will be asked to participate more than just putting in their dues and appearing once a year. Like ryze lists, these groups have far higher membership numbers than actual attendees.

Business owners have seen these things come and go, and expect to pay for their meal by listening to a number of unwanted come-ons, and so steel themselves for this ordeal by losing the directions to the event.

IMO, Mixers with a keynote speaker are more likely to be attended. (I am available as a speaker, as is Garland and several others on this list, but that is beside the point.)

Meetings with a point beyond our petty issues are better attended. These, because there is a known "topic of interest" to all attendees. How about a Mastermind meeting about how we are going to employ all of these new arrivals from the gulf coast? We have a huge opportunity here to do well by doing good. Your mixer would be attended by anybody who wanted their company name to be attached to such a laudable endeavour.

My 2 cents,

Wolf Halton
http://www.arrowstars.com/LYA

Private Reply to Wolf Halton

Oct 03, 2005 3:21 amre: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lynne Cogan
Hi Lamar.

I have a question.

Improving attendance at your Mixers appears to mean a great deal to you.

Most Ryze members are networkers and have given you the answers from a networkers perspective.

I wondering, have you asked business people in Middletown why the do or don't attend the mixers? Have you asked them what would entice them to come to a mixer?

Just wondering.

Lynne

Private Reply to Lynne Cogan

Oct 03, 2005 4:04 amre: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Wendy McClelland
Lamar - I can tell you why I don't attend business mixers anymore. I don't find people who understand how to create a win-win situation for both of us.

People think that handing out tons of business cards will generate $$ - when in reality it just turns people off.

I have been to SO many different kinds of business mixers (Chambers of Commerce, BNI, etc.), but rarely attend anymore. It's a waste of time and money - and I'm not alone. Most people I know who are successful find the same thing.

Now, that being said - I will attend IF there is a GREAT speaker who will teach me something new, or a round table event that lets me learn and meet new people on a deeper level.

I also network A LOT online - and have been able to form partnerships that way with people from Scotland, Thailand, Australia, and the U.S. (I'm in Canada). I find online networking easier - I can do it from home, it costs me nothing - I can get more in depth information about a potential business partner, and I can form so MANY more partnerships in a shorter period of time.

I'd encourage you to do as has been suggested - ask the business owners what they want? Offer them options - a speaker (offer different topics to choose from), a workshop or training session, a more in depth mixer where you REALLY get a chance to connect with the people at your table. After all, business is about building relationships...give people a chance to do that.

Hope these ideas are helpful - good luck with your event.

Wendy McClelland
http://www.thinkwithoutboundaries.com

Private Reply to Wendy McClelland

Oct 03, 2005 8:49 pmre: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Wolf, Wendy and Lynne,

Your comments on this are fantastic. Thank you so much. I will attend to address your comments somewhat in this post.

First, to you, Wolf. Although my group holds mixers 10 months out of year, I am rarely put in a position of making the all-too-familar "elevator speech." I know to what you refer. I have done it a few times. If it was done every single time, I would no doubt dread it - expecially if there was a large room of people and we were all expected to go around the room and introduce ourselves. This sort of thing gets old real quick. And, that is why my group rarely does it. What I think works well is creating a "trade-show" type of environment where there is "eye candy" in the meeting room, not just food and refreshment. I think an exhibitor table works nice. It presents an opportunity to the individual on one side of the table to learn something from the person on the other side. Indeed, the encounter can be an educational experience for both.

Wendy, I understand your frustration and disdain for mixers. I take if from your comments you are more often put in the position of being the person attending a mixer rather than the person hosting or coordinating. Listen, if you think attending a mixer can be irritating, try hosting or coordinating them. People get mad just because you took the time to invite them - and that includes people that are paid members of the organization doing the mixer. Believe it or not, I asked a follow member to make some phone calls for my upcoming mixer. Now, understand I had preiviously sent out invitations to this mixer - most of which were never responded to despite the request to RSVP. Well, Evite.com automaticaly submits a second e-card invitation after a two-day period when people don't RSVP as requested. Well, this one person had received six e-cards from me because he had never RSVP'ed. Then, he gets a personal phone call from my friend at my request. He's upset! This is really a catch-22 situation. You are damned if you and damned if you don't. What strikes me as odd about this particular individual is that his organization is nonprofit. My organization therefore gave him a FREE membership. We also gave him a special opportunity to address our business meeting. Yet, this person does not bother to RSVP to our monthly invitations. He will not even bother to update his own email address - which is obviously in his best interst - on our website that helps to promote his organization.

Finally, Lynne I appreciate your common sense. I am in the process of finding out what the concerns of my communnity are regarding the low interest in attending these mixers. It may be that the low population in the area is a factor. If you know everyone in the neighborhood, perhaps getting together with them is not all that important or meaningful. I do not know exactly what the problem is, but I intend to find out. Maybe there are folks in the community who don't like me? If so, it's high time I discovered the truth. Should the problem actually be "yours truly," I would be the first person to suggest that another mixer coordinator be appointed. You see, I believe the business mixer concept is a good thing and has merit. Peoople should attend. People should care. Why they don't do either - there is definitely a problem that needs to be solved.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
Creating a buzz for business in the boardroom


Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Oct 04, 2005 5:25 amre: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lynne Cogan
Hi Lamar.

"If you know everyone in the neighborhood, perhaps getting together with them is not all that important or meaningful."

Interesting thought.

Put another way: do people enjoy getting together with their friend?

Wonder how many people are saying, but that's not the same thing.

To me it is. I have a lot of friends in business, that I met as a result of business. We enjoy being around each other. Helping one another. Even when we are working on projects together, we enjoy gathering together at our weekly meeting.

Is my experience unusual?

Lynne

Private Reply to Lynne Cogan

Oct 04, 2005 11:27 pmre: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Martyn Rees
The term ‘business mixers’ is new to me in the UK and currently, Australia – however the concept is tried and tested in many different guises. In a large business catchment area, especially around a city, I have found monthly ‘breakfast meetings’, for up to 50 people beneficial. Arranged by the local Chamber of Commerce they are well attended and not aggressively pushing business introduction. Having breakfast makes it more informal and does not intrude significantly into the working day. At each session three people are given a ten minute time to talk about their business. However part of our business is in a more remote area of North Wales in UK and business mixers, as you call them, are not of particular interest because everyone knows everyone. So networking is most effective via the social route. So taking up Lynne’s comment, I have found that many of my friends are from an initial meeting during work. I have no trouble mixing with work colleagues socially (which usually includes non work colleagues as well) and find it a much more effective way to network – however I feel it is important to be aware of the boundaries between social and work, and any business networking whilst in the social environment is kept to a minimum. Martyn

Private Reply to Martyn Rees

Oct 05, 2005 12:52 amre: re: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Since this network is supposed to be focused on Internet Marketing Tools and we have been discussing business mixers, I would like to ask what kind of Internet marketing tools - if any - should be employed at a mixer? I can only think of one kind - a VOIP speakerphone. It would be used to bring people who cannot be physically present at the mixer into the mix. You might say these folks would be making "virtual handshakes." But, are there any other Internet marketing tools that might work well at a mixer?

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
Creating a buzz for business in the boardroom


Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Oct 05, 2005 1:13 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Gary Mialocq, Ph.D.


How about handing out mini-CD's of your product or service?

Private Reply to Gary Mialocq, Ph.D.

Oct 08, 2005 2:20 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Gary,

Handing out CD's at a mixer would definitely work. However, if you had a big crowd, handing out those CD's could get expensive. I have used CD's as door prizes in the past. Can you think of anything else that might be worth trying?

Lamar Morgan

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Oct 09, 2005 5:24 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lynne Cogan
Hi Lamar.

In response to your question about using Internet Marketing Tools for mixers . . .

The kind of networking I most appreciate can be done in chat rooms and by VoIP conferences. Would those be considered Internet Marketing Tools?

You see, the kind of networking that I appreciate most, is where we are assisting one another while building relationships.

For instance the entrepreneurial club I belong to has an online networking session in a chatroom once a week.

Here, multiple conversations are taking place at once. People are making requests: Such as, "I'm writing a children's book and am looking for a graphic artist who with experiencing illustrating children's fantasy books. Who do you know?" Or "I've invented a better mousetrap and need someone to develop the prototype. Who do you know?"

Of course, they could be seeking just about anything including customers. Or they could be seeking assistance wtih their marketing: anything from help with wording classified ads to branding to PR, depending upon what stage their business is at.

People open up their rolodexes, share their contacts, frequently making phone calls on the spot.

And as I said, that's much more focused networking than at a mixer. But I don't see why it couldn't be used for the mixers themselves.

Or for marketing mixers, which may be what you're actually asking. For instance, "We're having a mixer on ______. Food is being sponsored by the best deli in California. Who do you know who lives in Northern California in or around Middletown?"

The question then would be, are there any chatrooms, say on Yahoo, that would lend themselves to something like this?

Lynne

Private Reply to Lynne Cogan

Oct 09, 2005 6:29 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Lynne,

What you are suggesting is very similar to what we will be doing on a very small scale at the mixer using Skype to talk to Des Walsh in Australia and Scott Allen in Texas on speakerphone. Of course, we will not be talking to both at once. I have participated in Yahoo conference calls. One minute you are online, the next minute you are off. I hope the Yahoo upgrade fixed that problem. I think Yahoo purchased Dialpad. I personally think Skype works better than Yahoo for VOIP calls.

I know Althea Garner likes to use The Meeting Place software for her video conferences. I am looking at a software product called Persony. It is actually recommended for web conferences on the Skype site. I find that somewhat strange given the vSkype is now Festoon. What is the benefit of using a paid web conferencing service like Persony when you can get a free video conferencing service with Festoon?

Festoon is supposed to be good for up to 200 people at the same time. With Festoon you are actually looking at the desktop of the presenter. With Persony, only the person who purchases the software needs to upload it. Everyone else simply visits his website to see the presentation. I think that is pretty amazing. But, I do not know if that really trumphs Festoon. What do you think? Would you like to try Persony with me sometime to see what it is like?

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
Creating a buzz for business in the boardroom


Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Oct 09, 2005 5:31 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: What is the REAL Problem with Business Mixers?#

Lynne Cogan
Hi Lamar.

You asked about ways for using the internet, my thought was to use chatrooms for holding networking sessions. These chatrooms are where the conversation is typed. It's like a group IM.

The entrepreneurial club I belong to has an hour-long networking session in such a chatroom once a week. Very fast-paced. Much accomplished. Downloadable record available to everyone in club (well over 20,000), so even when people can't participate live, they can offer input.

If two or more people want to have a breakout networking session, they create their own chatroom or make a phone call.

It's not something that I'm advocating for a live mixer in Middletown. However, it might be a way for Middletown businesses to interact with business from across the nation and the world.

Lynne

Private Reply to Lynne Cogan

Previous Topic | Next Topic | Topics

Back to Internet Marketing Tools





Ryze Admin - Support   |   About Ryze



Ryze Android preview app

Testing Gets Real: blog on A/B testing, building businesses with feedback loops, by Adrian Scott

© Ryze Limited. Ryze is a trademark of Ryze Limited.  Terms of Service, including the Privacy Policy