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Community Calendar

Post your business event and stand up and Announce It at the luncheon. We will share your event on our Facebook page. Post your event up 2 months in advance and at least one week prior. Topics can be specials you're having, presentations you're giving, charity events you're involved in and whatever else relates to you and your business.

Member Guidelines

Connect With Us

How To Build Your Profile

  1. Visit our website: http://www.slowomensnetwork.org/
  2. First, review the existing Member Directory to get inspiration and see how others have created their profiles.
  3. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click “Log in”
  4. Your email address will be your user name, and you’ll need to create a secure password.
  5. Fill in your profile completely. Include your…
    • Business name
    • Title or position
    • Logo, if you have one (This helps people recognize and remember your business)
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • Mini-bio, including the groups or type of people you work with or help
    • Industry
    • Website link: *** Make sure to paste the url directly from your computer’s browser to ensure that the link is live! ***
    • Link to a secondary social media page or a specific landing page—where can you send people to find out more about you?

Registration

The luncheons occur on the third Wednesday of every month. Many members find it useful to set a recurring event on their calendars so that they know in advance when the meetings will occur.

All members receive an email announcing the month’s luncheon, including information about the speaker or program and a “Register” link. 

Registration is is $20 up until noon the Monday before the meeting. After that time, registration goes up to $25 whether you pay online or at the event. We encourage attendees to pay online by credit card or PayPal as it expedites registration, but cash or checks are also accepted at the door.

In order to have your name and business contact information included on the luncheon roster, you must register online before 9:00 pm on the Tuesday before the luncheon. 

Arriving at the Luncheon

We encourage members to arrive at 11:30 am to take advantage of the 30 minutes of networking time before the meeting begins. The registration table closes at 11:55 am and the meeting starts promptly at noon.

At the registration desk you will find:
  • The day’s menu, from which you’ll select an entree. Gluten-free options are available at $1.50 extra, payable at the desk prior to the lunch—you will need to mark your menu slip and should also mention it to one of the servers.
  • Number slips corresponding to the menu choices. Make sure to pick one up and place it at your seat next to the water glass, so the servers can see it clearly.
  • Someone to check you in and take your payment if you didn’t pay online
  • Blank name tags on which to write your name and business name
  • Guest Registration and red dots for guest name tags. 
  • Business Card bucket—this is where members drop their business cards.
  • Raffle tickets available for purchase (5 for $3 or 10 for $5)

30-Second Introductions

At each luncheon, members are given 30 seconds to introduce themselves to the rest of the guests. 

Be ready to stand and speak when it’s your turn in order to keep the flow going. Speak slowly and clearly and loud enough so everyone can hear you. Rather than trying to tell people about every aspect of your business, choose one point to focus on at each luncheon. Please respect the 30-second time limit. When the board member watching the clock stands, it’s time for you to sit.

Think about what you want to say ahead of time. You may want to practice with a timer, as thirty seconds goes quickly! 

Include:
  • Your name
  • Your business name
  • Your tagline
  • What you do
  • Whom you help

If you have time, you might add:
  • What kind of referral would be great for you
  • A range of customers or situations for which you provide services
  • Your specialty 
  • A special program or discount you’re running 

Member Business Card Exchange

At each luncheon, members put their business cards in a bucket at the registration desk. One name is then drawn at random, and the owner of the card wins a free lunch! (More on how to claim that later in this document.)

Each member also draws another member’s card in order to schedule a one-to-one meeting to get to know that other member better. Contact the person whose card you draw before the end of the meeting to set up your one-to-one. The final 20 to 30 minutes of networking are the perfect time to do this. (If you are not able to schedule your one-to-one before the meeting ends, call or email before the week is out.)

New Member Spotlight

Each member is encouraged to give a 5-minute New Member Spotlight presentation. The goal is to introduce yourself and your business so the rest of the membership can get to know you better. To schedule your spotlight, contact a Membership or Programs board member. (See the Tips, Guidelines and Best Practices section for more information).

Programs

The subject of our luncheon meetings changes from meeting to meeting. It could be someone talking about marketing, sales, networking or a multitude of other topics we hope attendees find informative! We are ALWAYS looking for good speakers, so if you know of someone or have a topic you are well-versed in, contact our Programs Chair.

Shout Outs

This is a time when members give short testimonials about the business services of other members. These should be about recent experiences, and they should include the name of the person, the name of the business, and the service provided. These are limited to 15 seconds.

Here’s what a typical shout-out sounds like:
“A big thank you to Joan Smith at Events Unlimited for catering my fundraiser last weekend for 250 people! The food and the staff were out of this world, and we got tons of compliments!” 

Member Announcements

Announcements are made near the end of the meeting by members who have posted their events on the SLO Women’s Network website. Announcements are limited to 15 seconds.

First, post your event on the website under the Community Calendar above so that you can announce it at the luncheon. Consider bringing a flyer to place on the promotional table.

Instead of trying to share all the details of your event during your 15 seconds, use the brief time to get people excited enough to learn more. Encourage people to get all the details by talking with you, visiting the SLOWN website, or picking up a flyer from the promotional table.   

POSTING AN EVENT IN THE COMMUNITY CALENDAR

When you have a special event coming up, either in your business or in your community, post it on our website! Not only will this allow visitors to the website to see your event, but your event will also be shared on Facebook via the SLO Women’s Network page. Post your event up 2 months in advance and at least one week prior. Topics can be specials you're having, presentations you're giving, charity events you're involved in and whatever else relates to you and your business.

You will also be able to share your event during the “Announcements” section of our monthly luncheons, but only if it is first posted on the website, so make sure to have it posted by 9:00 pm on Tuesday the day before the luncheon!

To Create Your Event

  1. In the “Member Resources” page. Under the Community Calendar click on POST YOUR EVENT. 
  2. At the top, click the salmon-colored button that says “Add post”. You will see this:

  3. Click on the calendar icon to select the date of your event. 
  4. Enter the starting time of your event.
  5. Give your event a recognizable name—something short and informative. 
  6. Add a description of your event by typing or copying and pasting from your website, social media page, or press release. You can use the icons to add titles and headers, change the alignment, the font type, size, and color, and even add bullet points and links.
  7. End your post with a call to action—what should people do if they’re interested?
  8. Call you?
  9. Email you?
  10. Click on a link to register or purchase tickets?
  11. Show up at the address you’ve provided? 
  12. Proofread your post and make sure you’ve included contact info for the call to action. 
  13. Click “Post”

Check out these examples from other members:


It is possible to add photos / images / advanced formatting to posts, but only by pasting in the HTML code for them. If you copy HTML directly from your website into the post textbook, it will show up as images similar to the original, modified to match the themes of our site. 


Raffle

There is a table at the back of the room for placing raffle items. The raffle is held at the end of each luncheon and is another great opportunity to gain exposure for your business. 

Tickets are 5 for $3 and 10 for $5 and can be purchased at the check in table. (This money is used to make a donation to the Community Foundation on behalf of the speakers at each meeting.)

As each item is a gift, there are no minimums or maximum amounts. Make sure to attach your business card to the item you bring. When your gift is raffled, introduce yourself and your business briefly and give a very brief explanation of your gift.

Suggested raffle items:
  • Something that directly reflects your business: a gift certificate or an item you sell
  • A business tool you love: a productivity journal or an inspiring business book
  • Something fun: a bottle of wine or a potted plant 

Membership Directory

Use the online Membership Directory and printed luncheon rosters to...

  • Contact a Board Member
  • Consult with another member
  • Hire a member
  • Ask questions about a member’s services
  • Set-up a one-to-one meeting
  • Make a referral 
  • Plan an event 
  • Cross promote each other’s businesses

Please do not add people to your email distribution list directly from the online Member Directory or the printed roster provided at the luncheons. When you meet with members one-on-one, you can ask them whether they would like to be on your email or newsletter list. Thiswill avoid any issues with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

One-To-One Meetings

One-to-one meetings are a chance to get to know other Women’s Network members and share how you can refer business to one another. You can do this by identifying your target markets and finding common connections. Building relationships is the best way to get referrals and build business! 

Feeling shy? No worries! We’re all here to network, and we are all eager to get to know one another better so that we can form deeper connections. 

Try these conversation starters:

  • Where are you from?
  • What brought you to this area (if you’re not from here)?
  • What’s your background?
  • How did you get into your current field?
  • What do you love about your job?
  • Who is your ideal client?
  • What is your best source of referrals?
  • What special events are going on in your business now?
  • Do you have any new products or services?
  • What kinds of referrals are you looking for right now?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What are your favorite work tools?
  • How do you achieve work-life balance?
  • What are your favorite work or mindset habits or hacks?
  • What are your favorite work or lifestyle websites?

Claiming the Free Lunch 

At each luncheon, a member’s card is drawn from the business card bucket for a free lunch. This free lunch must be used at the next meeting of the Women’s Network. 

To claim the free lunch, register online for the next luncheon just like you normally do, but rather than making the payment online, select “Invoice me.” When you arrive at the next meeting, check in with the treasurer to make sure she has marked you as “Paid.” 

Promotional Items

There will be designated tables in the room for members to display their information and/or products at each luncheon.  

Feel free to bring flyers, pamphlets, giveaways (like free pens with your information on them), or other promotional materials.

Please do not place information directly on the dining tables. This space is reserved for SLOWN material, our Featured Speaker, and our 5-minute Spotlight Speaker. 

Planning Your 5-Minute Spotlight

Your goal should be to enable the attendees to get to know you better. You might talk about:

  • What you do and whom you serve
  • Your background and education
  • How you got started in your business
  • Your unique approach
  • Your passion for what you do

Five minutes goes incredibly fast. Before your presentation make sure you rehearse with a timer! When you present,watch for the board member who keeps time: she will let you know when you have one minute remaining. 

Just like with your 30-second intro, it’s more important to give people a way to connect with you rather than to try to list everything you do. Make eye contact, ask questions, and engage the audience. If you’re running short on time, wrap up by telling people the kinds of referrals you’re currently looking for rather than trying to give all the details of your program or service. 

Please respect the time and wrap up when you get the “one minute remaining” signal. 

You are also encouraged to bring materials to put on the tables. Just make sure to explain what they are and what should be done with them. Such as...

  • Business cards
  • Promotional materials, such as pens with your name and logo
  • Coupons or special offers 
  • Tips on a subject in your field 
  • A short survey (no longer than half a page)
  • A newsletter sign up sheet that you’ll collect later

Consider bringing a raffle item that day to maximize your exposure. 

Member Appreciation Events 

From time to time, we schedule special events, where you can spend time with other members in a casual, fun setting. This might be a wine and painting evening, a cooking class, or a fun local event. 

If your schedule doesn’t permit you to attend luncheons as often as you’d like, you’ll love these events that occur outside of regular business hours!

How to Participate Actively - Consider Being On the Board!

We encourage all members to participate actively in the Network, and one fantastic way to do this is by joining our board. As a board member, you’ll help guide the organization, provide support for other members, and increase your visibility in the group. You’ll become a familiar and helpful face in the Network, staying on members’ minds as you perform the duties of your position.

Elections are held in May and the new board is installed in June. The terms are for one year. The executive board (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary) are limited to 2-year terms before they must move to different positions or leave the board. 

Some members serve on the board for a single term, some rotate through a few positions over a few terms, and some remain on the board in non-executive positions for several years. You can choose the level of commitment that works for you!




Save

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jean Jones / President

Sherry Stupar /  VP

Megan Barnhard / Secretary

Smitty Price / Treasurer

Jeanette Vierra / Programs
Jane Kostiw / Programs

Gina Cinardo / Website, Social M
Ashley Dammeyer / Social Media

Liz Christoffersen / Fun Projects

Carol Kerwin / Facilities
Nancy Kington / Membership
Doreen Curtze / Membership

The Women’s Network of San Luis Obispo is a
not-for-profit organization and is open to all women.

Copyright 2017, Women’s Network of SLO.
All Rights Reserved

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