Business Networking International Holds National Conference; Local Region Celebrates Decade of Expansion

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Business Networking International is holding its annual U.S. National Directors’ Conference May 16-18 in Tampa, Fl. BNI’s West Central Florida region celebrates 10 years of growth.

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This year marks a special 10-year anniversary for Business Networking International’s West Central Florida (BNI WCF) region. BNI WCF was started by Executive Director Tom Fleming and has successfully increased business and revenue for many Tampa Bay business owners and professionals over the past decade. Alongside the 10-year celebration of BNI WCF, BNI’s 2013 U.S. National Directors’ Conference will be held in Tampa on May 16-18 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.

The highlight of BNI’s U.S. National Directors’ Conference is referred to as “Members Day,” where 800 to 1,000 local BNI members will gather with 400 director consultants from all over the country to network and listen to keynote experts and speakers. The conference culminates with an evening awards banquet that celebrates how BNI has impacted local communities by supporting the local business economies throughout the United States. The BNI WCF area stands out amongst the regions in this world-wide organization as they celebrate over $87.5 million in business passed between members in the past 12 months.

BNI is the largest referral-based networking organization in the world. The referral-based company provides a structured environment for the development and exchange of quality business referrals amongst members. BNI’s annual conference is held with the purpose of providing a forum for sharing ideas amongst director consultants from all over the U.S. in pursuit of offering more value to BNI members.

Fleming, who has headed BNI WCF since 2003, says networking is more important than ever to help people stay in business. Word-of-mouth advertising has been proven to trump traditional advertising with 92% of people trusting recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising, reported Business News Daily (1).

“Much advertising today is done by word of mouth,” said Fleming, “and in the new economy, it’s more important than ever to be proactive in securing business. BNI is an opportunity to share knowledge, wisdom, experience, and most importantly –referrals to new clients, to positively impact their businesses.”

The growth of BNI WCF is testament that the BNI model works. Since starting the West Central Florida BNI Region, Fleming has successfully increased business and revenue for Tampa Bay professionals using the BNI method. In the past 10 years, BNI WCF has:

  • Increased Chapters from 1 to 46
  • Increased Members from 13 to over 1,800
  • Over 1,700 Members have passed over $77.5 million dollars in new business amongst themselves in 2012 alone—that’s an average of over $44,000.00 per member.

Breakdown of expansion over the three few years:

  • 2010
  • Total Chapters: 40
  • Total Members: 1,527
  • Total Referrals: 77,611
  • Total TYCB: $38,274,933.00
  • 2011
  • Total Chapters: 42
  • Total Members: 1,730
  • Total Referrals: 84,017
  • Total TYCB: $69,278,958.00
  • 2012
  • Total Chapters: 43
  • Total Members: 1,739
  • Total Referrals: 87,246
  • Total TYCB: $77,198,218.00

Fleming is sought out as a local, national and international speaker on the subjects of marketing businesses by referral and organizational development, due to the growth and accomplishments in BNI.

For more information about BNI WCF, visit them online at

About BNI and Tom Fleming:

Tom Fleming is the Executive Director for BNI in West Central Florida and the Referral Institute. When Tom acquired the region, BNI WCF had one chapter comprising 13 members. The region now has over 46 chapters with 1,800 members passing $87 million in business to each other in the past year alone. Tom is sought out as a local, national and international speaker on the subjects of marketing businesses by referral and organizational development. He is also a contributing author in two best-selling books on referral based marketing, and has been recorded on many educational CDs produced from his speaking engagements. Prior to beginning his career as an entrepreneur, Tom worked for various Fortune 500 firms, and earned an MBA from Babson College, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in business from Boston University. Visit BNI West Central Florida at

1.Mielach, David. “Why Word of Mouth Trumps Traditional Advertising.” Business News Daily, 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.

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Alyssa Kaplan
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