We like to see our meetings as well attended as possible and usually that means most of our members and plenty of guests being present. However, there are occasions when circumstances conspire to make this impossible and a relatively small number of people actually arrive on the day.
When this happens, it’s very interesting to watch the dynamics. Any tendency for two or three people to break away and chat together is immediately eradicated and everyone present joins in with everybody else in a totally inclusive discussion.
When the formal part of the meeting starts, a slightly more relaxed approach can be adopted to the definition of ‘one minute’ and there tends to be a higher level of interactivity with each member’s presentation. A slightly longer period can be allocated to breakfast (or whatever meal forms part of this particular meeting) and a ten minute presentation becomes rather more intimate, most likely resulting in a higher number of questions. The extra time is used to good effect and it is not unusual to hear people saying how much they have enjoyed the meeting.
The major difference is it’s all more relaxed but what is the main benefit realised? Well, those members present are given an extra opportunity to get to know each other better and to develop their working relationships to a greater extent. This in turn builds trust which as we’re always saying is probably the most important thing which has to exist between members if they’re going to unreservedly exchange clients and contacts between themselves. Make no mistake about it, networking is all about quality of relationships and is underpinned by feeling certain that you will not be let down either by the people another member introduces you to or by the other members you have recommended to your contacts, friends and family.