[Interview] Renate Swanepoel, COO, INC. Networking
Renate Swanepoel is an entrepreneur, global networker and inspirational speaker that has helped thousands of people around the world to find their purpose. She has gained significant networking and communication skills through her extensive travels and appearances at international conferences and trade shows. Her passion, communication and influence has highlighted her as a true inspirational leader, passionate about people and their cultures.
Renate speaks with Africa Business Communities about INC. Networking and its operations throughout the world.
Please introduce INC. Networking
INC. Networking is a first-of-a-kind international networking company that operates across borders, focusing on personalised introductions for all our members. We host networking events in multiple countries throughout the year whereby we introduce likeminded businesspeople, owners and entrepreneurs to one another. INC. is a results driven company; your results is our success.
You joined the organization months ago. What motivated you to become a part of it?
I have been a Global Networker for some time and actually met Ton van de Ven about eight years ago while traveling across the world to technology trade shows for a Dutch telecommunications company. My title was Global Networker and Brand Ambassador and I sometimes played the role of MC at our own conferences. During one these events, as I went off-stage, Ton came running to me and told me that I had his dream job, and I knew then that I had met the male equivalent of myself - a true Networker. I realised that instead of trying to do this all by myself, I could reach out to Ton so that we could join forces and make this Network stronger than ever.
What is INC. Networking’s strategy for expansion, as an organization?
Currently I am focusing on South Africa, mainly the Greater Gauteng area/Johannesburg and thereafter we will move over to Cape Town. In Europe we have spread our wings widely and have multiple Europeans involved. We have also joined hands with Africa Business Communities, an organization with a vast number of members across Africa. We will strategically be working alongside them to take all their online communities into an in-person tangible business connection space through our face-to-face personalised Networking events.
You are organizing an event in the coming days. Please tell us about it – where, when, the purpose of the event, what kind of people are expected to be there, anything relevant
INC. Networking is hosting a Business Networking Event on Tuesday the 13th of June at the Dainfern Golf Estate Country Club, Johannesburg, South Africa. There is to be a sort of pre-event wherein one of our members, Ashley Laat from Ashley Laats Financials, will be hosting a Masterclass on Life Cover & Absorbent Premium Increases. Right after the Masterclass we have our INC. Networking Event during which we focus on personalised introductions to all our members and visitors. Throughout the evening we serve a delicious canapé meal and provide live music entertainment, also by one of our skilled and multi-talented members, Richard Coughlan from Utilities Detector. The purpose of our events is to personally introduce all members to one-another and to new potential members and business connections. We focus on growing our network through inviting business owners, decision makers and entrepreneurs (all likeminded businesspeople), for the purpose of easy and fast decision-making business. Beautiful, long-lasting relationships are born at our events, and we welcome all open-handed businesspeople to come and join. (Open-handed: willing to give and receive, helping one-another to grow).
What would participants benefit from being at this event, and if possible, after the event?
Firstly, no one that joins our events needs to be good at networking, as we the INC. team will be doing the work on their behalf. At the event they will personally be introduced to at least two beneficial contacts, and throughout the evening we constantly check-in to ensure that no one is left in a moment of quietness. INC’s job is not just to make the introductions during the event, but also in the weeks that follow the event. Our team guarantees personalised introductions so that each member will experience a return on investment on their annual membership fee.
Can we expect more of such events after this one?
This is our second event in Johannesburg and we will be hosting events approximately every six weeks. Before the end of the year, we will be moving to Cape Town as well and thereafter we will announce the next African country.
Would you say that networking of this kind is important for doing business in South Africa?
I do believe that Business Networking is not just important in South Africa, it is essential to doing business globally. As we know, people buy from people and the more people you know the better the chances of your being connected to right people (the decision makers).