BNI (Business Network International) is a 24 year old business and professional organisation that allows only one person from each trade or profession to join a chapter. With over 5,576 active chapters, and 111,733 members, it is the most successful business referral organisation in the world.

Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of sales people working for you because all the other members carry copies of your card with them. When they meet someone new that could use your products or services they hand out your card and personally recommend your services.

It’s as simple as that! Last year members of BNI passed 6.2 million referrals, which generated more than €1.8 billion worth of business.

Visit the About BNI section to learn more about BNI.

The above is taken from the official BNI site and gives a general overview of this great organisation. So where is the “handshake” between “The Shirt” and BNI?

The project is able to generate significant PR for its supporters whilst BNI and its members can also generate excellent PR for “The Shirt”. So, a “win-win” Synergy. Additionally, I have some skills and many contacts that may be of use to BNI members and I am always happy to share them as I travel.

My aim was to visit at least one chapter in every region of BNI and although I did not quite manage that, I did visit over 40 chapters. I FULLY intend to complete the task as soon as practical. I had a shirt which I got signed by every BNI member I met and would estimate having 1000 signatures on this shirt when I returned it to BNI Vision (Southgate, London) at the end of the journey. The shirt was actually made and donated by Lisa Halligan at BNI Harald in Thornaby, Cleveland and got many admiring looks and positive comments as I took it to all the chapters. It was an excellent opportunity to highlight both Lisa’s work and generosity but also the excellent Harald chapter. By the end of the journey you could hardly see the colour of the garment for all the signatures on it!

I pay tribute to the organisation, the regions, the chapters and individual members. I will be very open and say that without the support of BNI, I would never have been able to complete this journey. They organised accommodation at almost all their chapters and introduced me to several clubs: Yeovil, Liverpool, Everton, Tranmere, Carlisle United and Derby are just a few that immediately come to mind. Equally, I was delighted to reciprocate by getting them into a number of clubs including Norwich City, Notts Forest and Notts County.

This photo shows me with the members of Chariots BNI in St Albans, Herts. The photo is courtesy of their member Chris Hawkes , a professional photographer. Many of the chapters took team shots with me and I am sure I will remember them all with many fond memories.

I have said it before and I will continue to say it, “Without BNI this trip would simply NOT have been possible.” End of discussion or “punto, final” as we say in Spanish.


21 Responses to “BNI”

  • Hi Steve,

    It was a pleasure to have hosted you in BNI SE London w/c 24th May. 4 chapter meetings in 3 days and countless referrals passed! Thank you for your insightful and thought provoking education slots and help to our members. We never got to play pool in our summerhouse, (we were just too busy racing around Bromley, I guess!), although it’s great that you found it a great refuge.

    Good peddling my friend!

    With best wishes,

    John & family

    ★ What a great response so far from fellow BNIers inviting Steve to visit. Please spare a couple of minutes to read why I’m supporting him in his truly remarkable cause and why EVERY BNI region should give him 100% back-up:

  • Hi Steve
    Youre welcome to visit our chapter when you come to see The Norwich City Football clubs ground at Carrow road. We meet on a friday and myself and several other Season Ticket holders in the club would be happy to get you to the ground. Can you let us know your intended day /date of travel to Norwich please so that we can organise a welcoming party etc!
    Kind regards

  • Steve Hall:

    Thanks Bob, I would look forward to that. I’ll confirm the date asap.

    Appreciate your hospitality

    Kind Regards


  • We really enjoyed hosting Steve at our BNI Viking meetingmon Friday, his challenge is truly inspiring and he is a great advocate for the power of networking and word of mouth marketing – he is experiencing this every day through this challenge. We were pleased to show our support and we may not be a major football town being Warrington but we do have a great Rugby team, Warrington Wolves and we were delighted to add to his collection with a signed shirt from hopefully this year’s Challenge Cup Winners!!

  • Marissa, the pleasure was all mine. You lead a great chapter in Cheshire. Professional and positive but everybody also having fun. A great balance. My next one will be Kendal. Sure they will give you a run for your money as chapter of my month!

  • Good morning Steve – just a short comment to say how fantastic it is to hear of your progress and the warm welcome you’re receiving from fellow BNI members around the country. Vision chapter (Enfield Golf Club) look forward to having you with us as and when you can make it “down South”. Rest assured, we’ll be happy to have you as our guest for B&B at “Casa Morris” !

  • Hi Steve,

    It was a pleasure to meet you on thursday, you are an inspiration! You kindly gave us an overview of your challenge to raise awareness to the global problem for refugees. Thank you for the badge I wear it with pride.

  • Steve Hall:

    Thanks, Andrew. I assure you the pleasure was all mine so please do pass on my kind regards this week to all at Tower. A great chapter and a great meeting.

  • Steve, such a shame that we did not get to meet when you visited”up North”. However Ian Smallwood & Andrew Wareing told me what a great guy you are (never in doubt) & how impressed they are with your dedication. I can only echo their sentiments & wish you well in the final stages.

  • A warm welcome and a hearty breakfast awaits you when you visit Fortress Chapter on 14 July. Ride safely.

  • Steve Hall:

    Thanks Phil BUT…..

    Just to confirm that I have been in serious accident but that

    I am now out of danger. I am being kept in hospital for observation – should know more om Monday/Tuesday

    If I owe you or yours emails, updates, updates etc I apologise

    Normall sevice will be resumed asap but all meetingsappointmenrs etc will have to be rescheduled. Sorry

    No access to phone as the police have held on to my mobiles

    As I say I am out of danger and will enjoy Spain win tomorrow ,

  • Steve Hall:

    Thanks Carmen Speak soon

  • Hi Steve

  • Steve Hall:

    The pleasure was all mine I assure you Patrick. A great meeting – one of the very best I have been to and a credit to BNI. Looking for the hat-trick of great meetings tomorrow. Fortress, Vision and then Harald.

    Delighted with the support in Cumbria and Durham. Thanks.

  • Hi Steve
    Thanks for visiting BNI Harald last Friday, it was a pleasure and an honour.
    All the best for the rest of your trip.

  • Hi Steve
    Great to meet you at BNI Amber and wish you all the best for the rest of your trip. Hope the rain keeps away and the sun keeps you warm.
    Take care

  • Steve Hall:

    Thanks, a pleasure to meet you, David and the rest at Amber.

  • It was a great pleasure to meet you this morning at BNI Great Western, my only regret that I did not know of your presence until this morning. Thanks for your insights. I applaud your mission on behalf of the world’s refugees and wish you free wheeling on the rest of your trip. Go for it, Peter

  • Peter. I enjoyed our discussions over coffee and hope we can progress. It was indeed a great meeting too! I added this comment on

    Superb meeting at BNI Great Western yesterday. Proves too that you do not need to be in the epicentre of the Western World to be a top chapter. I struggle to spell or pronounce where they meet and could not find a B&B within light years but the quality and quantity of referrals was the best I have seen in weeks. One of the members, Chris Wood, saw I was low on business cards. He immediately shot off to print 200 cards so on the reverse all my cards now have ” Cards donated by Wotton Printers”. Great PR for his company, his chapter and BNI. It would have been rude of me not to have a 121 and found he had lived 2 miles from me, was also involved with rugby league etc etc. Obviously, I am now looking for quality referrals for him …..and all the other BNI members I meet on the way. Yesterday, I gave two and I know one has been progressed, that they have spoken on the phone and already met.

    I asked for a contact within Torquay United and AD Chris Fleet made one call so that 45 minutes after the meeting I was on the hallowed turf at Plainmoor. Thanks, guys. TOP chapter!

    What would be a great referral for you all this week? You don’t know who I know until we start communication. You definitely don’t know who the people I know until we start developing the dialogue.

    A great referral for me would be

    1) Contact at a Southampton or Portsmouth BNI chapter for Thursday
    2) Contact at a Bournemouth BNI chapter for Wednesday
    3) Contact at a Brighton chapter for Friday

    ….appropriate accommodation and contacts within the relevant clubs.


  • Steve, it was a pleasure to spend some time with you last Thursday in Norwich. BNI Morning Glory have all remarked how the meeting ‘spiced up’ a little for having your presence there in respect for what you are achieving.
    I am pleased that Norwich FC and in particular Phil Lythgoe were able to host you, get pitchside and donate a signed ball for you and many many thanks for donating that to the Red Balloon charity.
    We have a summer ball on 17th and we will add that to our list of auction/raffle prizes
    I wish you all the best for the final push of your challenge and hope to meet with you again in the future.
    Dan Kelly – BNI Area Director East Anglia

  • Steve Hall:

    Dan, I would like to thank you sincerely for everything BNI Anglia have done and in particular to your successful Morning Glory chapter. You have a great chapter in a great location and I look forward to hearing of its successful growth. Please remember that I am happy to add all your photographs to this site. It’s a nice way of me promoting and thanking those that have helped me.

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