A strategic round table is like having a one-on-one strategic alliance meeting times 10! Strategic Round Table is one of the most powerful networking tools there is! having the ability to grow your business through aligning with others is powerful and frankly much more enjoyable!
Putting together a Strategic Round Table event puts you in the networking power seat and is an opportunity to align with several people at once as well as being the leader in creating an atmosphere of helping other build their business on referrals as well as you. The ability to help others by introducing them to potential business networking opportunities.
Here are the steps to make it happen;
- Figure out who you would like to invite. Keep in mind you want like-minded people. Meaning you want to make sure that you feel (as best to your ability) to feel these are movers and shakers or at least people that understand the idea of giving and connecting, not just takers.
- The group size is best around 8-12. To get that size group you will need to invite at least 12-16. You want to have at least 10-12 confirmed because the day of the event there may be 1 or 2 that have a ‘fire to put out’ and can’t make it at the last minute.
- Your invitees should also be associated with the same types of clients/customers that you have. Also be aware of any conflicts. For example you don’t want two competitors there if you can avoid it.
- Pick a date and place with at least 4 weeks in advance of event. You could do less but to get on someone’s calendar its best to invite 3-4 weeks in advance.
- The place could be anything from a private room in a restaurant (private room is important if the establishment is open) to a conference room of one of the invitees or even a customer. It is often good exposure for them and they like it.
The caution about a restaurant is food is involved so there is less attention to the process while eating. Additionally, you want to be careful not to pay for the event since typically when it is paid for, most people feel it will be a ‘sales pitch’ and may not come.
My recommendation is have it in a board/conference room. You can supply water and coffee and get to the task at hand. The best time for that is 10-12 noon. After breakfast and before lunch. The thought process here is your participants can do what they need to do in the am, and often will join another round table participant for lunch. This is up to you though. One more thought on restaurants. If you have the strategic Round table at a restaurant. often you are tempted to pay. If you do, the feeling of your invitees is that it is going to be an “infomercial”. This can create a fear of ‘being sold’ which is not at all the purpose.
Also If you are going to have people pay, let them know, “…and most lunch plates are between $10-15 dollars” for example. Again, a bit of a hassle dealing with money as well as plates clanging…
- Send out an invitation to whom you have selected and then call a day or so later to talk through it and better explain. I have attached a sample of a letter to help guide you. Please use the attached examples as templates and make your own that bet fits you and your personality. It is one of the most powerful networking tools there is!