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Exclusive memberships of Canberra’s networking groups?

By johnboy 21 May 2009 43

I hear there are around 90 networking groups in Canberra. That doesn’t even include the service clubs where the real business muscle hangs out and the really smoky rooms which don’t even have names on them.

But in an interesting move Schmooze have recently turfed out a member of BNI, apparently for fear of the BNI culture.

Here’s the text of the email she received:

    After much consideration and feedback from members, I’ve come to the conclusion that including members BNI within the Schmooze network is not a compatible mix.

    It is very clear the philosophy of the two groups are polar opposites, with the assertive BNI form of networking and the active sourcing leads for other members for your group: this is at odds with the atmosphere and style that we aim to create at Schmooze.

    Members come to Schmooze because its NOT at BNI type model and to that end, I regret we can no longer accept as a members of Schmooze those people who are active members of BNI.

    Essentially, it has become evident to me and other members that members of BNI first loyalty is to their group- which is understandable given the model- but it is my obligation to the other members to ensure the health of the environment of what’s been created at Schmooze, and to ensure they experience the form of networking they’ve signed on for.

    We have updated our policies and membership information to specify that members of BNI will not be accepted as members or guests at our events.

    To that end you, you’ll be paid a pro rata refund for the remaining period of your membership this week, you just need provide your EFT details, or I can make a PayPal refund. Your membership will expire in July, so you’ll receive a refund of $30 ($15 per month remaining).

    Let me stress this is about a cultural incompatibility between our two groups and so whilst I’m sure you’ll be disappointed, I hope you understand.


Fair enough? Or discriminatory?

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43 Responses to
Exclusive memberships of Canberra’s networking groups?
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Ivan76 6:44 pm 25 May 09

I was a member of BNI for a year or so & found them all to be pretentious snobs at the Belconnen (Thursday morning at the cafe) group that made me want to vommit each time a member spoke.

The Burleigh Griffin group however seemed a lot more professional and showed a genuine interest to others in the group.

I have never heard of Schmooze before but I would suggest it was created by someone as an alternative networking group to the nose in the sky culture at BNI.

My advise to business owners – Take the probationary free membership from BNI and use it whilst pretending that you really want to pay (some rediculous fee) to join. Once you have used up your free time then go & have a look at Schmooze – Ill bet they’re cheaper.

astrojax 10:52 pm 22 May 09

that was my point – i did say ‘some’ bn members; presumably these were also schmooze members. shoddy, all round. i’ll not be back.

harvyk1 2:28 pm 22 May 09

Actually astrojax, it should be the Schmooze members who didn’t want to fit with with the Schmooze culture should have been asked to leave, not a blanket ban on all BNI members.

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