CR004 - Branch Business Networking Groups

Suggestion:

Fund the annual membership to join a local business networking group - Chambers of Commerce or equivalent - for Branches that wish to. This should not be automatic each year and should be justified based on previous year's engagement/benefit.

Category on Map Diagram:
LOCAL HUBS

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Please type JUST ONE these three response options on the first line.AGREE
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REFER
REFER is to be used to either get more information, or if you like the principal, but have concerns about the implementation.
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AGREE

AGREE
Coventry MG have been trying to establish links with the local Chamber of Commerce - (one committee members was a member for a while whioch save Branch money), however we are yet to establish permanent traction

REFER

REFER

More information needed about cost/benefit and purpose
Chambers and other local professional networks perhaps. Is there mileage in BCS becoming an organisational member of related professional bodies (say IOD of CMI)?

Thanks Carol.

Thanks Carol.

Completely agree it needs to be justified hence "This should not be automatic each year and should be justified based on previous year's engagement/benefit."
"Chambers of Commerce or equivalent" - so why not IOD, but the focus of the recommendation was to encourage the 'local' relationships.
We need to start somewhere and of course relationships take time to build so a year's trial may not be enough - but that would be up to a Branch to justify.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Business networking groups

this is from my local Chamber: Here are just some of the advantages of being a member of the Chamber:

Advertising and PR packages available to more than 40m annual views across London and the region in press, media and all digital platforms
From £4,500 of free advertising to more than 10,000 businesses in Richmond upon Thames region
Introductory free mentoring services for startups
CSR for corporates
Access to subsidised business networking events
Lobbying UK and local Government on business policy and legislation

Join us, enter Awards and attend Richmond Awards Ball and other high profile events, seminars, training and interesting relaxed networking events ranging from breakfasts and lunches to early evening social gatherings.The Chamber’s members span from professionals, start-ups, SMEs to international companies and public organisations establishing local links as part of their corporate social responsibility; such as Barclays Bank, NPL, London Square, St George’s and PayPal.

So is our purpose the corporate social responsibility? otherwise in my experience business networking groups exist to get business from each other or their contacts and are very protective of this. Would this be in order to attract more members, host an event? How would the interaction work?

Caution needed. Membership of

Caution needed. Membership of such networking groups needs to be carefully assessed before committing to them - some are focused on specific areas or SMEs only, so may not reach intended audiences

REFER

REFER
Ambiguous wording: "Fund the annual membership ..." does that mean funding individual members?? Or a local Branch? Is it the Branch that gets the benefit - e.g. contacts and networking - or all individual members of the Branch. If the latter, how to police "freeriders" from other Branches?

Thanks Mike.

Thanks Mike.

The wording was generic on purpose TBH.

However, as most of these organisations normally have a company/organisation membership that would be the proposed route I think.

Some member groups might favour Chambers of Commerce, others a more specific group.

The BCS could negotiate a membership 'approach' with a common organisation I suppose.

Certainly, there is no intention to support "freeriders"

The recommendation does include "This should not be automatic each year and should be justified based on previous year's engagement/benefit." but we perhaps need to start with te a number of pilots, but as with most things a single approach may not suit every situation.

REFER

REFER
I think this needs to be considered on a case by case basis, once benefit to the BCS community is demonstrated.

Don't disagree Iain.

Don't disagree Iain.

However, we need to start somewhere if we want to increase the BCS 'brand' and relevance within the local (business) community. We need to go where they go.

REFER - Manchester Branch has

REFER - Manchester Branch has been a member of GMCC for a number of years and the IoD for a couple of years, neither provided much benefit. As with all these type of things it depends on how much effort is put in that drives the benefit. It is not just a case of "being a member".

Agreed Len.

Agreed Len.

Membership organisations do cost money - just like the BCS ;-)

Simply renewing annually without assessing benefit is not the recommendation.

If we are looking to support the 'brand' of the BCS then we do need to make contacts/connections locally to demonstrate the worth of our professional body.

It would be great to get your views about other alternative approaches.

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I'm sceptical that paid membership brings benefit to a professional body. The underlying issue is the ability to work with the third party rather than attend their events.

Agree

Agree
Wording is sufficient to support trial basis for groups, and intent to support membership for the member group and not individuals.

REFER - we should include

REFER - we should include local IT focused groups. We have good relations with several hacker groups and do have joint meetings. They may or may not welcome a more formal relationship, depending on their own structure.

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