Wednesday, January 27, 2010

International Networking Week 2010 - Let's see the networks start to network with each other

Next week, February 1-5, is International Networking Week. A BNI initiative, the aim of International Networking Week is to 'celebrate the key role that networking plays in the development and success of businesses across the world'. It's a noble initiative and one that deserves to gain some support and a greater profile in the UK.

I went along to the BNI Big Breakfast in London in 2007 to mark that year's International Networking Week. They are holding a similar event this year, with 400 people expected, and it certainly was a good event when I attended.

What is disappointing is that the concept doesn't seem to have taken off in the UK in the way it has elsewhere. There are three UK events listed on the official site, all of which are hosted by BNI.

The profile of networking, and its credibility as an important business strategy, have certainly grown over the years and I have been delighted to see more companies take networking seriously. However, there still seems to be more competitiveness than collaboration between the different networking organisations, a problem we often ran into (with a few notable exceptions) when I was involved in networking groups.

I'd love to see International Networking Week embraced by networking organisations across the UK, as well as by schools and in corporates, in the same way as Global Entrepreneurship Week. Let's see the networks do some networking of their own and use their combined resources and influence to really raise the bar next year.


  1. I strongly agree that Networks should collaborate. After all that's the approach to Business Networking that we Advocate - Connect, Collaborate and Grow.

    At NRG-networks we have an open stance and welcome other networks. I'm pleased to report that we enjoy positive relations with other open networks and will keep building on those.

    We participate in a number of inclusive events with other Networks already and will continue to do so.

  2. I agree with Dave. At Gold Star Referral Clubs, we believe there are enough people that need referral groups, we should all work at together to help them get more business.

    It's not all about! It should be more about, what can I do to help?

    We have lots of friends in lots of different networking groups. Where we can, we're there to support and collaborate with them. We are invited to their events, and we invite other groups to ours. It just makes sense.