Virtual Business Crews – National Cohort
Network online and build lasting business relationships across Canada!
Virtual Business Crews is a networking activity that uses intelligent matchmaking to group participants who share similar objectives. Participants are placed into groups designed with their specific interests in mind, and then meet with the same group of 14 – 20 people weekly over a four-week period to discuss and collaborate on achieving their business objectives. Meetings are led by a seasoned facilitator in order to maximize your networking experience.
For the Spring 2022 National Cohort, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is teaming up with the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Ottawa Board of Trade.
Build your network with professionals from across the country!
Why should you register?
- Develop your network
- Listen and learn from the experience of others
- Reflect and find solutions to a specific problem
- Obtain references from potential clients
- Sell your products or services
- Discover new suppliers
- Share best practices in business
Participate in three easy steps
Step 1 - Register online here, registration closes on Monday April 11, 2022.
Step 2 - Complete the matching form to identify your networking objectives and which types of profiles you wish to meet. There are two available time slots for meetings – from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EST, or from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm EST. When filling out your form we ask that you identify four availabilities among the following dates:
Thursdays – April 28 and May 5, 12, & 19
Fridays – April 29 and May 6, 13 & 27
Tuesdays – May 3, 10, 17, & 24
Wednesdays – May 4, 11, 18 & 25
Step 3 - Using the data provided in the matching form, the algorithm with place you into a group according to your availability. Groups will be confirmed on April 18, 2022.
What is a Business Crew?
A Business Crew is a networking group in which the participants meet on several occasions over a given period of time to help each other reach their professional goals.
How many times does each Crew meet?
Each Crew meets four times.
How often do the meetings take place?
The meetings take place every week, over a one-month period (four weeks).
When do the meetings take place?
The meetings for each Crew always take place on the same day of the week, and at the same time.
How many people are in each Business Crew?
A Crew is usually made up of 15 to 20 people.
How long does each meeting last?
The meetings each last two hours.
How do Business Crew meetings work?
The moderator suggests a topic of discussion and, in turn, Crew members are each invited to introduce themselves and speak about the proposed topic. The roundtable discussion is punctuated with exchanges and questions among members of the Crew.
How are the members of each Crew selected?
When you register to take part, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will allow us to create your profile based on a variety of points: your specialization, your goals, your interests, your network, etc. We then use various techniques and matching algorithms to assign you to a group of participants who are compatible with your profile. At first, you may not be able to see all of the ties that link you to certain participants in your Crew, but as the meetings take place, you will have the opportunity to hit it off and develop good chemistry with some of your colleagues.
Can two competitors end up in the same group?
Unless otherwise requested, we avoid assigning two competing companies to the same Business Crew. Sometimes, the subtle difference between competition and complementarity can be ambiguous for certain participants. For this reason, if there is any doubt, we may contact you by telephone or by email to validate your sector of activity and get your approval before matching you with certain other participants.
Will I be able to choose the group I want to join?
No. We reserve the right to match you with the group of our choice based on an analysis of your profile. We receive hundreds of registrations for each cohort, making it impossible for us to allow each participant to approve the composition of each group. Trust us—the rate of satisfaction among previous participants was 88%.
Will I manage to make sales by participating in a Business Crew?
That is exactly what we hope for you. At the end of the last series of meetings, more than a third of the participants stated that they had been successful in selling their products and services through their group—either directly to other participants or by getting referrals for potential clients. Several participants also mentioned that although they had not yet made any sales, discussions were still underway.
However, your Business Crew is also meant to help you build and strengthen your professional network, with regard to clientele, as well as in terms of suppliers, partners, and other forms of collaboration. Keep in mind that effective networking goes beyond simple business development. In fact, close to 90% of participants in the recent cohorts reported having engaged in useful exchanges with the other participants, either about business issues affecting them, new professional opportunities for their companies, or best practices relating to their profession. You may also learn about new suppliers and meet experts who can help make you stand out among your current clientele.
In short, come with an open mind. You never know where your Business Crew may lead!
What happens if I have to miss one or several of my Crew’s meetings?
Quite often, a member may have to miss a Crew meeting due to some unforeseen event or other engagement. This is not ideal, but you can always have a colleague replace you at a meeting you have to miss.
If you have to miss a meeting and you are unable to find someone to replace you, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can invite a participant from another Crew to come take your place. That way, you will avoid penalizing the other members of your group by decreasing their networking opportunities.
In any case, no refunds will be issued in the event of absences.
What topics are discussed at the meetings?
The topics discussed are at the discretion of your moderator, based on the profiles and suggestions of the members of each group. The topics are chosen in such a way as to allow the other participants to get to know more about you and, consequently, to better help you. Also, regardless of the topic selected, at each meeting, you will have time to introduce yourself and to discuss your professional objectives.
Why do I have to complete a questionnaire after registering?
It is imperative that you quickly complete the questionnaire you receive by email after registering. The information gathered will allow us to create your profile based on a variety of points: your specialization, your goals, your interests, your network, etc. We will then use various techniques and matching algorithms to assign you to a group of participants who are compatible with your profile. This will increase your chances of meeting the networking goals you have set for yourself.
What should I do to optimize my chances of success in my Business Crew?
The key to success is in the follow-ups you will make between each of your Crew’s meetings. Experience has shown us that participants with the best results are those who have active exchanges with their colleagues outside of the “official” meetings of each group, whether those exchanges are by email, by telephone, or by videoconference. These follow-ups will allow you to further your relationships with each member and to increase opportunities to assist each other, which can help you reach your professional goals.
Can I register for more than one group at a time?
Yes, you can make a request to do so. Simply mention it on the profile questionnaire you receive after registering.
After I register, is my spot within a group guaranteed?
We strive to match 100% of the people registered for each cohort. However, due to availability, the number of registrations received, and non-competition requirements among participants in certain fields, we may have to refuse some registrations.
Original concept of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal in collaboration with PairConnex.