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StarChapter of December: Tucson Business Networking

 

Tucson Business Networking was created on July 1, 2017.  A very successful start to the organization by becoming Winners of 2018 Readers' Choice Award for Best Networking Group.  Tucson Business Networking LLC connects Tucson area professionals to make them more successful. We were able to speak with Stacy Fowler founder of Tucson's fastest growing business networking association to learn more about how they've been able to reach a high level of success within their first year.

1. What is your chapter’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

What’s important to know is this is all about people engaging with people. I’ve been a doer for most of my career and finally decided it was time to start helping other people become the same.  It’s about the people realizing they can go out and get business if they are outgoing and engaging. And that’s at the essence of me/us going out and getting new members.

It all leads to word of mouth and continued messaging to potential contributors to Tucson Business Networking. We are all like-minded people looking for the same thing – business. It sounds simple because, well, it is.

We try to make every monthly event a comfortable experience, one where it’s at an inviting venue (something out of the ordinary yet very nice). Maybe a place some members have never been or haven’t been to in a long time. It makes them curious about the place and the new opportunities. With that, it becomes a situation where they will want to come back because they enjoyed their first visit. At least 75 percent of our first-time visitors return more than once or eventually join the group. We like those numbers.

With so many people coming and enjoying themselves they spread the word to others and it builds from there. Word of mouth is still a strong way to get people involved, especially if the attendees are having a good time. And they do.

Something must be going right. Just a couple of months ago, we won the 2018 Arizona Daily Star Readers’ Choice Award for best networking group in Tucson. Where do we go from here? Even higher, of course.

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year.

That would be our Christmas/Holiday party we had last December. More than 300 people attended and they had a great time. Not only was it a time to do some business but it was a time to celebrate what we had accomplished in the first few months of existence. People enjoy success and that’s what this party was about. Again, like-minded people who enjoy being together to mingle, get acquainted and, maybe, do some business down the road. We are planning the next holiday party and we are cutting the party off at 500. We expect about 700 will want to attend.

We still want some intimacy to the party, after all. It’ll still be a time to help promote one another and still get some things done.

3. The Tucson Business Networking network is extensive. How do you get ideas on how to improve membership value?

I’ve been in the networking business for 20 years and am part of 12 other networking groups. If you don’t watch and observe how others are working their network events then you’re not paying attention. I try to do that, bringing in ideas from others via feedback (from within our own group and others). All suggestions are welcome. And we undoubtedly enjoy fresh eyes to the group. They see things we might be missing.

What’s that saying? If you aren’t growing you’re staying the same? We’re still evolving into the networking group I want to eventually become.

I’ve made it inexpensive enough to where people can afford it and get their investment back very quickly. And I hear plenty of stories that they do and they do right away. It’s only $100 to join. People see great value in that. The only raffle we have is from the host venue. We don’t hold raffles or have giveaways because it takes time away from networking. They are there to meet and mingle with potential business associates. They are also there to have a drink and have appetizers, network, enjoy company and start friendships. That’s an important part of all this, too.

4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other organizations?

The best thing I can say is have a “togetherness.” Don’t shun other people’s advice but instead embrace it. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice or suggestions to what works and what doesn’t. Again, it’s a simple concept where people are the main characters in their own success. Remember this is about people.

5. What is in store for your members next year?

Continued success and growth both in size and strength. We’re growing every month at a good pace so that’s pleasing. But I’m thinking about holding breakfast meetings with great/successful speakers. Next year my goal is to publish a Tucson Business Networking magazine featuring our members, member stories, networking in the Tucson area and much more.

6. How have been able to utilize StarChapter to run the Tucson Business Networking and reach its goals?

First, let me tell you how I arrived here. When I started Tucson Business Networking, I knew that I needed an effective online presence but with no prior experience, I didn’t know where to turn. After an unsuccessful first attempt, I realized I needed to find an experienced company to make this successful. I met someone who mentioned StarChapter – I’ve known about it – and looked into it by visiting the website. The rest is history. Now I’m part of something very special. It’s like having a third child. That’s how much I care about its success.

StarChapter is affordable and once learned, it is easy to use. The features the website has makes joining more appealing – member only forum, classifieds section and submitting a request to add an event to the community events calendar.  Also, if the member has questions about the website, I will help them and offer to do the administrative work for them. Take a look at the website and our directory: www.tucsonbusinessnetworking.com

Tucson Business Networking

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