Interview: The Bay Area Business Networking events, Marketing, & Leads Group with Sunil Bhaskaran

Sunil Bhaskaran is a Creative Innovative Strategist and organizer of the Bay Area Business Networking Events, Marking, and Leads Meetup group. Their regular meetings focus on “both networking time periods and educational presentations highly relevant to business performance.” We invited Sunil to share additional details about his networking group.

Tell us more about your Meetup group, Bay Area Business Networking Events, Marketing & Leads Group. Why did you decide to start it? How is it different from other Meetup networking groups?

The meetup group is for a select group of people who are committed to increasing their business performance via training and effective, focused networking. We provide training and networking opportunities: I feel this is an effective use of time and gives good returns to people who attend: we have a good track record and currently have about 1,200 members and a meeting about every month. We have chapters in the East Bay (separate meetup) and Mid Peninsula (seperate meetup).

I started this group in response to some of the problems I saw in most networking opportunities

  • People had no training to focus their networking and marketing message: so people were confused on how to make introductions for them: hence the need to train people in business, so people can be clear in their messaging and efforts towards generating business.
  • People were insulted or insulting in the manner of their networking: they are either too pushy (pushing business cards) or too shy in their approach. This is understandable given the lack of appropriate quality business training out there.

I started the group to address these two pains.

We are different from other meetups in the following ways

  • We are consistent in our building and selection of members; people have to be selected when they apply to join.
  • We provide valuable training and networking: most if not all of our meetups have been highly rated by our members.
  • Quality presentations and trainings
  • We work to help people introduce themselves: The training helps people get clear on what they need to do to message and manage their business efforts.

What are the backgrounds of your members? What are they looking to get out of the group?

The members come from various backgrounds: mostly people in small business, a minority of career professionals, startup tech people.

What they gain: high quality business training + networking in a focused manner.

What have been some of your most popular events? Why do you think they were popular?

The most popular events are our training and networking events. People love the trainings!

After organizing several networking events what do you think it takes to be a good networker?

  • Listening, Listening clearly, Attention and Focus
  • Solid follow up and demonstration of reliability and consistency
  • Focus on being proactive
  • Asking the right questions

What other tips for networking do you have?

  • Take an elevated commitment to developing your business skills: strategy, marketing, time management
  • This will help you stand out immediately from the rest