BNI Online Meetings

General FAQs For Members and Leadership Teams

Q. My Chapter/Town is not affected, why can’t we still meet in-person?

A. This is a dynamic situation that has proven to evolve overnight in some cases.  We would like all our chapters to err on the side of health and safety FIRST. Many companies throughout the U.S. are requiring their employees to work from home regardless of perceived cases in the area. Additionally, some Chapters have been told by their meeting venue that they should find alternative locations during this time. Given this, we feel that this decision is in the best interests of you, your Members, and your Chapter’s ability to continue meeting. Let’s proactively work together to help all our Members remain safe and healthy. 

Q. We would rather just postpone meetings for a few weeks until this blows over, why can’t we do that?

A. In the spirit of our philosophy and primary core value of Givers Gain, please consider what that might do to your Members’ businesses. We truly believe this is the best chance your Chapter and Members have to continue to build business and reach goals. Having online meetings is your opportunity to lead your Chapter through this rapidly changing situation. Additionally, based on input from our Chapters globally, there is no ability to forecast a timeline in this situation. 

Q. How long are we going to be conducting bni online meetings? When will we go back to in-person meetings?

A. We do not have an estimate of when we will issue guidance to return to in-person meetings, and it could be different depending on the state and area where your meeting is held. The bni online platform is designed as a temporary alternative and we will support every BNI Member until this is resolved.

 Q. Our Chapter decided not to meet this week, what do we do now?

A. Be sure the Vice Presidents marks the PALMS report as a “Holiday”. It will stop the automated attendance emails and help give your Leadership Team time to prepare for bni online.

 Q. Our Chapter already made plans to meet online, do we have to attend bni online training?

A. It is recommended that, at the very least, one Executive Leadership Team Member attend (P, VP, ST). Even if you are familiar with Zoom, and have led many in-person Chapter Meetings, there are operationally tested methods for making the experience easy and effective for every attendee. We want to share the tips and best practices from the hundreds of meetings and thousands of Members who are already using this platform globally.

Q. As a Leadership Team Member, I don’t feel confident in my computer skills to run an online meeting; where can I get help?

A. We completely understand! There are several solutions for your consideration:

  • We are planning numerous trainings on bni online within the region. Click here to view the calendar of events
  • If you still feel uncomfortable, practice with just the Leadership Team once or twice before the actual Chapter Meeting
  • Refer to the Zoom website for videos and additional training -
  • Consider having the Vice President or Secretary/Treasurer run the agenda
  • Consider experts in your Chapter that can lend a hand in the area of technology

Q. What should I do if I feel unwell?

A. BNI is not qualified to provide medical advice. It is recommended that you reference and adhere to the guidance put out by your local government and medical officials to help prevent the spread of the disease. BNI’s top priority is the safety and wellbeing of its Members and associates.

Q. What will happen if I don’t attend a meeting because I feel unwell?

A. The medical leave of absence policy has been adjusted to accommodate this situation and maximize flexibility. Please communicate with your Chapter Vice President and request a medical leave.

Q. Will absences and participation be tracked?

A. Yes. All Chapter functions will continue as close to business as usual as possible. Included but not limited to:

  • VP – tracking and reporting Chapter statistics.
  • MC – fielding Membership Committee related questions and concerns, new and renewal application processing.
  • ST – entering PALMS reports and reporting Chapter statistics, collecting Chapter Dues, announcing renewals, and maintaining speaker rotation
  • Members: conduct One-to-Ones, pass referrals, attend Chapter meetings online, provide Bio sheet to Secretary/Treasurer when you are scheduled to be the feature presenter etc.


Q. What if I don’t have an internet connection to attend my Chapter’s online meeting?

A. The beauty of the online format we have chosen is that it allows participation by phone. If you are on the Executive Leadership Team, and you do not have internet at your home, please contact your Regional Director for solutions.

Q. As a Member, I am not as technologically inclined, how can I participate in my bni online Chapter meetings?

A. We understand and we appreciate your willingness to continue meeting with your referral partners. Consider asking for assistance from a friend, family member, or a Chapter Member who is skilled in technology. It is easier than it appears!

Q.  What do we do about our venue?

A.  A phone call is certainly more beneficial than an email. Many businesses are seeing affects in one way or another and they may be expecting your call. If you have a contract with a venue, let them know that virtual meetings are temporary, and the venue might be happy to extend a contract rather than cancel the contract or request payment. If you have a great negotiator in your Chapter, perhaps they can make the call.

Q. Should we continue to collect Chapter dues?

A. This decision is to be made at the Leadership Team level. You may also want to consider this as an opportunity to build a minor reserve for future use. If dues were normally collected via check, Members can mail their checks to the Secretary Treasurer.  If collected via credit card, work with your bank to assist with solutions.

Q. We are scheduled to attend the Member SUCCESS Program or March Leadership Team Training, are they still on?

A. We are quickly transitioning events that can easily be conducted online, such as Leadership Trainings and Member SUCCESS Program, to take place virtually until further notice.

 Q. What about our Visitors Day, should we have it virtually?

A. Continue the Visitor Day process as if you were to be meeting in person. When members make their follow up phone calls the week prior to the Visitor Day you should know if we need let them know we are meeting online or hopefully by your date we will be back meeting in person. We will be actively marketing YOUR chapters Visitor Days at a regional level and will support your marketing efforts with the business community. We are working on a strategy for Visitors Day presentations and will have more information soon.

 Q. We have visitor(s) scheduled for next week’s meeting; should we invite them to an online meeting?

A. Awesome job inviting! Depending on your Leadership Team’s comfort level with the new BNI Online platform you may want to consider having the first bni online meeting without visitors, like a dress rehearsal. When facilitated well, bni online is a positive experience for your visitors. They get to witness the innovation, positivity, and professionalism displayed during this unique time. What better way to show visitors your network, which may be helpful during this period? Be sure to email or call that visitor to let them know about the change and invite them to attend your online meeting a week or two in the future.

 Q. How do we conduct our Chapter Success Meetings (Leadership Team Meetings)?

A. Please continue to conduct these meetings once a month as prescribed. You will be able to use the same Zoom account issued to you for your Chapter meetings. This also applies to the Membership Committee section of the Chapter Success Meeting. Just like the in-person Chapter Success Meetings, these online meetings should also not be recorded.

 Q. How do we conduct and count One-to-Ones?

A. Count them the same way as if they were in-person: one hour, two Members. Try conducting them online! You can use the online meeting platform of your choice that will allow a 60-minute meeting, or sign up for a free Zoom account, which is perfect for One-to-Ones!

Q. Will we still have Directors Visit and present?

A. Yes! We will assume the Director will be attending as usual and if scheduled, still present the Feature Presentation or Education Moment.

Q. What do we do if we get news that our Chapter might have been exposed to the virus?

A. Contact your Executive Director. We have communications ready to deploy that keep safety and privacy at the forefront.

Q. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

A. If you have questions regarding the topics discussed in these FAQs, please contact your Executive Director. All regular Chapter business questions would continue to be routed to your Chapter Director Consultant.


We will support each Member during this time and will continue to develop communications and more FAQs as we get answers. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Online training has been scheduled for your convenience this week.

Monday March 16th

7:00 to 8:00 a.m. Click here to register

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Click here to register

2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Click here to register


Town Hall (open to all members)

4:30 p.m. Every Monday - Click here to register


Tuesday March 17

4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Click here to register


Wednesday March 18

4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Click here to register


Thursday March 19

4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Click here to register


BNI Online Training Available for Members (Mock Meeting and Best Practices)

Monday 12 p.m. – Click here to register

Tuesday 12 p.m.  – Click here to register

Wednesday  12 p.m. - Click here to register

Thursday  12 p.m. - Click here to register

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