The Do’s and Don’ts of being a BNI Chapter Guest

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When you visit another country, there are different rules, cultural differences, codes of ethics and laws. As a guest, you want to understand and respect the place you are visiting.

This also applies when visiting another BNI chapter.

First, it is important to understand that as a member of BNI, you are a guest, not a visitor. Traffic Light Points are for visitors only. Points are not accumulated for members inviting other BNI members to their chapter.

However, being a guest can provide many benefits. You can expand your network, gain new ideas to take back to your own chapter and many more.

What should you do when you are a guest at another chapter?


  • Register for the meeting through BNI Connect
  • Meet the chapter member that holds the same seat as you do
  • ​Book one-to-ones with members
  • ​Meet the president of the chapter
  • Refer business to members if you know, like and trust them
  • ​Speak positively about your BNI experience to members, visitors and guests
  • Tell your BNI story


  • ​Invite visitors or guests from the chapter you are visiting to come to your chapter as a visitor or guest – ever!
  • ​Ask for business, especially when a member of the chapter already has your seat
  • Attend another chapter’s visitor day unless you have been asked by the director to attend and tell your story
  • Speak negatively about BNI, your chapter or your experience
  • SUB Hunt. There are many places to find your SUB, another chapter is not one of them.
  • Become a regular visitor. Limit your visits to no more than two in six months.
  • Ask to be on their substitute list

Be responsible, be respectful, be gracious, and most of all, be a good guest.


Do you have any tips for being a good BNI guest? We want to hear!

Mark SimmonsAbout Mark Simmons

With over 30 years of work experience in a variety of business models, Mark has seen it all and been through it all. Mark works with individuals, teams, business leaders, thinkers and those that are stuck to build foundation, set direction and reshape their personal and business vision…and make it EPIC. He is also the past president of Vancouver BNI Urban Professionals chapter and a Director of Consultant and Area for BNI British Columbia – Lower Mainland.

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