International Networking Week is celebrated annually in different countries for a week in the first week of February to bring business professionals together and share their experiences. This year, it is celebrated from February 6 to 12. The initiative was a brainchild of the Business Networking Institute® (BNI®). BNI® is an organization that holds annual events during this holiday and also provides business leaders a chance to develop professional relations with other participants to network and drive sales.
History of International Networking Week
Every professional’s goal is to fully utilize and develop an ability to harness the power of networking, and the Business Networking Institute® aims to facilitate that.
The week was initiated to bring professionals around the globe together enough to build sales-leading bonding relations with one another by sharing their growing experiences. The goal of the holiday is to support professionals in building a professional support system with thousands of others from different spheres of society including marketing, sales, finance, and small and corporate business. And, to encourage the maintenance of those vital connections.
Partaking in the events that commemorate the week-long holiday includes numerous benefits to professionals. It connects them to those who share their interests, can help them hone their skills and build confidence, and help them gain additional knowledge, perspective or referral by networking outside their circle.
According to the Business Networking Institute® — initiators of the holiday and a world’s leading business referral organization with over 280,000 members in about 9,900 chapters across over 70 countries, the International Networking Week holiday was initiated to encourage business networking and relationship building among professionals who may otherwise have missed out on the power of networking.
The organization says the goal of the week is to help its members generate word-of-mouth business for each other through structured, results-driven groups around the world. And, it is estimated that in 2020 alone, its members generated over $15.5 billion in revenue for member businesses.
International Networking Week timeline
The precursor to the Business Networking Institute® leading to the International Networking Week starts.
The business side of International Networking Week is registered.
The goal of the week-long holiday is to bring professionals together.
In March, as a precaution, BNI® changes from in-person to virtual meetings.
International Networking Week FAQs
What is BNI® International Networking Week?
Business Networking Institute® founded International Networking Week as a global initiative to bring business professionals together from around the world to share their experiences and grow their networks. Each year, the observance includes a theme.
How do I network on International Networking Week?
To observe International Networking Week and network with fellow professionals during this holiday, you can host a networking event with your group of friends and their acquaintances, join a chapter of Business Networking Institute® local to your country or reach out to professionals on social media platforms.
How did International Networking Week start?
Business Networking Institute® — the organization behind International Networking Week was formed by Dr. Ivan Misner to advance his consulting business.
How to Observe International Networking Week
Host a networking event
There’s no better way to key into the week than to invite your group of friends and their acquaintances and organize a networking event. The week is to gain insights from fellow professionals through their experience and connect with them. Since you’ll be meeting new faces, your event can serve as an opportunity to upsell your services.
Join a local BNI® chapter
Another way to observe International Networking Week is to join an organization for networking professionals like the initiator of the holiday, Business Networking Institute®. The institute has local chapters in over 70 countries where you can register an interest to join and participate in an organized event.
Reach out to professionals on social media
Social media provides a great and easy way to network. Platforms like LinkedIn let you network with fellow professionals as a way to celebrate. Develop your strategy for reaching out and getting a reply back from these professionals as a way to observe International Networking Week.
5 Things You Should Know About International Networking Week
Each year’s event has a theme
Each International Networking Week celebration has a theme to reflect the focus of the year’s event.
It started to meet other professionals
The Business Networking Institute® was initially founded by Dr. Ivan Misner to meet other professionals to grow his consulting business.
It coincides with other notable holidays
International Networking Week coincides with African Heritage and Health Week, National Patient Recognition Week, Pride in Foodservice Week, and more.
It has branches in 70 countries
Business Networking Institute® has local chapters in over 70 countries according to the website.
It generates billions for its members
The Business Networking Institute® claims it generates billions for members’ businesses.
Why International Networking Week is Important
It connects professionals to exclusive opportunities
Humans live in bubbles created around several societal frames like work, family, and community that sometimes make us miss out on things outside those frames. International Networking Week was meant for all professionals to share a common experience and exclusive opportunities.
It’s an exposure mechanism
International Networking Week is crucial as it gives exposure to professionals; this is reflected by the amounts the Business Networking Institute® generates for its members. As a professional, you may not want to miss out on this.
It helps to build a good reputation
A solid reputation is crucial to lasting business success, and International Networking Week can help you build it. Being a committed part of a local BNI® chapter can open doors to opportunities that build your reputation and make you the preferred candidate in future ones.
International Networking Week dates