Most of us are familiar with the term Freestyle cruising, a concept that was introduce by the cruise industry in recent years. Freestyle cruising was a new business model that was introduced to allow passengers to a enjoy a more casual vacation experience and eliminate the formal rules of cruising (e.g., formal evening dress code, a set time and place for dining, etc..). This business model allowed the Cruise Industry to attract a younger customer base and increase their annual revenue, but what is Freestyle Networking?
What is Freestyle Networking?
The term Freestyle is rarely associated with business networking. As I always do before writing my blogs, I performed a research of the phrase “Freestyle Networking” to determine if this concept is being applied in networking but very few results were found.
So here is my definition of Freestyle Networking. Similar to the Cruise Industry, I am defining and applying this business model to networking to provide people with a more casual networking experience rather than continue with the “old school” regimented and structured networking model. Incorporating this Freestyle Networking model provides people with thee freedom to choose when, where, and with whom they want to network rather than dictating to them where they need to network.
Now, I know my local Houston Networking Leaders will argue with me that we must have a structured environment to allow for a successful networking experience. I agree and disagree with them at the same time. Yes, we should have some structure and/or general guideline but No we do not have to be so regimented and dictate to the people where they should network, with whom, and where.
How are we “Making it Work for You”?
First, I want to give credit to our Founding SBC Director/Member Christina Tervay for coming up with the phrase “Making it work for You” and allowing us to use it as part of our slogan. By introducing the Freestyle Networking business model into our Organization, we are providing our members with several networking opportunities both virtual and face-to-face events to give members the freedom to choose when, and where to network. In addition, we are hosting several area events and allowing members to participate in as many events as they choose without having to pay any additional member fee for each area. At our events, we provide both our guests and members with equal opportunities to share their story and/or marketing material and encourage one-another to truly connect and build long lasting relationships. Now that is how SBC is applying Freestyle Networking & Making it Work for You!