What happens at a referral marketing meeting?
As well as the minute message opportunity previously mentioned, a longer presentation will be included and a valuable learning point – again, delivered by members. Because referral marketing organisations usually have an annual membership arrangement, these two presentations are a member benefit that helps to raise profiles.
Often, refreshments or a meal is provided because meetings typically take place at breakfast, lunch or in the early evening.
Open networking will take place at the start of a meeting to welcome guests and build a rapport between the members. A second networking section is sometimes part of the agenda during a break between the structured sit-down segments.
This is where the confusion of comparing referral marketing groups to business networking groups can set in. As mentioned, referral marketing offers a level of networking to encourage the building of relationships, whereas networking groups tend to be much larger and have more emphasis on meeting as many people as possible. Speed networking is a great example of this.
It is important to point out that sampling different meetings will give you a feel for what will work for you. The smaller close-knit culture of a referral marketing group will often produce longer-term collaborations and quality referrals, whereas business networking groups will grow your contact list quicker.