Here are some Frequently Asked Questions —- and our Frequently Provided Answers —- for BNI Embarcadero.

Q: How many times can you attend as a guest (visitor)? What is the cost to visit?

A: Four times as a sub and/or a visitor, then we’d like you to make a commitment to become a member –– if your category is open.  The cost (which includes breakfast) is $30 as a visitor as of 1/4/2017; there is no fee to be a substitute.

Q: What would be the process of being considered for membership at BNI?

A: The Membership Committee reviews the application, checks the references, troubleshoots any possible overlaps of categories, and approves the application.

Q. What are the 10 criteria for becoming a new member at BNI?

A: They include:

1) A two-year minimum of professional experience in the profession for which you are applying.
2) A mature, seasoned person with a strong business plan.
3) A professional demeanor and appearance.
4) Someone who is reasonably articulate when meeting one-on-one.
5) A willingness to contribute to the chapter in addition to referrals.
6) Someone who is an experienced networker.
7) Someone who is highly motivated to build a network.
8) Someone with a positive and supportive attitude.
9) Someone who has a power partner within the chapter and/or is one of the most wanted professions.
10) Someone who meets with potential power partners prior to acceptance within the chapter to ensure they feel comfortable networking with them.

Q: What is the BNI Attendance Policy?

A: Attendance is mandatory every week, but BNI allows three absences within each six month term (April 1 – September 30 and October 1 – March 31). If you arrange for a substitute, you will not be penalized with an absence. However, if you arrive more than five minutes late for a meeting, or if you leave before the meeting ends, you will be charged with a 1/2 absence for each violation. If you arrive late AND leave early the same meeting, you will be charged with a full absence. After 3 absences within six months, your category may be subject to being opened by the Membership Committee.

Q: What would be the dues/fees associated for annual membership if I was considered a candidate?

A: As of June 1, 2015, the registration fee is $150 + a one-year membership is $445 + Member Success Program Training is now $45  = $640 upon submission of the application, payable by check or credit card. Or a two-year membership costs $685 + $150 for registration fee + $45 for MSP = $880.

In addition, chapter dues are $115/per person (as of 1/04/2017) to have the restaurant open just for us and cook a great buffet-style breakfast, payable the first meeting of each month.

Q: If a person can normally attend only three times per month, can they get a non-member to sub for them?

A: Yes, you are allowed to call a substitute to sing your praises whenever you may need one. Note: Another member of your chapter cannot be your sub.

Gil ZeimerQ: Is the infomercial supposed to be 15 or 30 seconds in length?

A: 30 seconds in our chapter. Other (smaller) chapters allow 45 to 60 seconds.

Q: It seemed like the buzzer was sounded well before 30 seconds?

A: Time flies when you’re having fun. 😉

Q. How does a current member renew his or her commitment for another year?

A: A member must complete the proper paperwork (a short questionnaire and a renewal application) and pay by the 1st of the month of the renewal. Download BNI Renewal Questionnaire (pdf).