People do business with people they trust. The Chesterfield Chamber is the best tool for business leaders to create meaningful business-to-business relationships. Chamber networking opportunities offer you the opportunity to:
- Meet a variety of business owners and leaders
- Market your business in a cost effective way
- Have some fun
Nearly 200 business and civic leaders gather for this monthly meeting of membership. The experience includes networking, lunch, and a featured speaker while enjoying member-to-member camaraderie. Held the second Wednesday of each month (except January) at Four Points by Sheraton, located at 9901 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond 23235, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Chamber Night Out
This is the networking event for local professionals, giving individuals the opportunity to make new business connections in an informal atmosphere, with light refreshments. Held monthly at a different member business from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., typically 75 in attendance.
Women's Business Council
Meet for lunch with fellow female business owners and leaders to build your personal and professional network. The Women’s Business Council initiative is in its launch phase. To engage, contact Danna Markland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These ceremonies increase the visibility of Chesterfield Chamber members who are just opening or celebrating a special achievement. Contact Us to schedule your event.
Here are a couple of things you can do to increase your networking effectiveness (from Jim Roman, the Chesterfield Chamber’s official relationship building expert and New Member Orientations guide).
1. Have a plan – What is your plan before, during and after a networking event?
Before an Event: Think about why you are going? What is your goal? Think about who you plan to invite to go with you (don’t go to a networking event alone)? Finally, before you go to an event, pick the right networking event. Not all networking events are equal. As you probably know they have different people (target markets) attending and they have different results.
During an Event: For starters arrive early. How can you act like a host? Make people feel welcomed? How can you help others get introductions so you get introductions? Remember what goes around, comes around. Someone has to start it.
After an Event: How do you plan to follow up with the people that you meet? It’s been my experience that people don’t have a follow up plan. They are what I call “90 minute wonders.” They stand in the corner at a networking event and “wonder” why these networking events don’t work. One, is they don’t “work” it. Two they have no plan before, during or after. Take time to sit down with people after a networking event to get to know “them.” What I like to say is to “WTO” – win them over not sell them over and over.
2. Don’t sell - Often times our passion for what we do can be easily misconstrued as selling so be careful. When we get asked about what we do, we are so passionate about it that we go on and on and on about how great our product or service is and worse yet we start talking in industry terms that no one understands. Don’t be selling, networking events are primarily events designed to get you visibility (exposure) and build relationships.
3. Help Others Get What They Want - Typically what do people want at networking events? Business. They want opportunities, they want introductions. What goes around comes around. What I did the first year living in Richmond, knowing nobody, I spent the whole year introducing people that I met to other people, and eventually I was the man who knew everybody. Seek out the people that are standing in the corner by themselves, I do this because I remember what it was like, to not know anybody, and start to introduce them around. They will never forget that you did that for them.
Some key things to remember when attending a networking event.
1. Have a plan, be memorable, take someone with you, pick the right event
2. Arrive early and act as a host and make introductions
3. Get to know others before they get to know you
4. “Networking is more about farming than it’s about hunting” – Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI
- Jim Roman, Business Owners Institute and the official coach of the Chesterfield Chamber’s New Member Orientation.