Visitor Policies

Visitor Policies

Visitor Pre-Joining Attendance Policy
Most business groups have an attendance policy for visitors that says they may visit the group up to 2 times before deciding to apply to join the group. There needs to be a policy in place that allows an allocated member of the group to speak to a visitor after their first visit to gauge their enjoyment of the meeting, and their intention as to whether they want to join. Additionally, many groups subsidise or pay for completely the meals of visitors. This is done by adding 1 or 2 dollars to the cost of the member's meals each week. This additional contribution builds up a fund to allow for visitors to visit for free.

Joining Procedure
Once a visitor has decided to put in an application it is a general practice that they do not attend a meeting again until invited to do so as a new member of the group. This allows for open discussion in the meeting with regards to the merit of their application. Most networking groups have a committee structure that makes the joining decisions. It is important that these decisions be shared with the group openly and honestly.

We know of two organisations who require prospective members to undertake Recon Meetings with members before they can join. These meetings allow the existing members to understand the prospect more deeply and show them the commitment that is expected.

Objections
What policies and procedures do you have in place to allow members to object to the application of a new prospective member? What level of proof is required to substantiate an objection?

Visitor Packs
If your group gives written information to visitors, or posts information on the website, it is important to set out your fee structure and how you expect the group to be paid for membership fees. This eliminates doubt from visitors minds as to how much they will have to pay.

Meeting Frequency
How often are you going to be meeting / do you meet? Weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Uniqueness/Exclusivity
Is it one member per profession or do you allow for overlapping professions to be members? How do you handle crossovers and issues if they occur?

Member Commitment
What attendance and other policies do you have regarding member commitment to the organisation? Do they have to attend a set number of times, a percentage of the meetings or is it more casual? Is there a penalty or a chance of removal from the membership for lack of commitment or poor attendance?