As I mentioned before in my earlier posted blog (https://pittbusinesstotheworld.com/2018/05/28/get-the-professionals-together/), what my boss does is setting up peers meetings for professionals and executives in San Francisco Bay Area. When I first learned about the concept of peer learning group for professionals, I had a lot of doubts on it. Why are people willing to pay $500 for just a dinner with their peers? Are people going to be interested in this service? There is a lot of alternatives for a peer learning meeting, so why did people choose this instead of other ways to network with their peers?
After working at Enrich for almost 2 months, most of my doubts were gone. Instead, I think there is a bright future for this industry.
I saw a good amount of needs for this service. If you don’t know much about industries, you must think like how I did before – Why would they want to pay $500 to meet their peers, that they might already have in their own companies? Why can’t they just reach out to each other and build the connections? In fact, in the situation of executives, like vice presidents or directors, they don’t usually have peers that share the same role with them in the company. And for executives who don’t have to be very socialized, the chance for them to meet their peers is very small. Even if they have peers that share the same role with they in the company, some people seek to jump out of the “Group thinking” and talk with peers that think differently. That’s why they need peer learning meetings to learn from each other and to think about problems in different aspects. Additionally, we would pair the professionals based on their roles, company sizes and the topics that they what to talk about. In this way, we make sure that our members are talking with the right people and make sure that they can actually learn something from each dinner. This makes our service valuable, because for most of the time, people run meetings, conferences and waste their time on talking to the wrong people. A peer meeting dinner like ours makes sure that the member is talking to the people who share similar responsibilities and understand each other, so they can actually learn from each other. The incredible social factor that executives are not usually connected to their peers makes this peer learning meeting become needs, and where there’s a need, there’s a market.
Yet our competitors seem very strong. YPO, Peer 150, Venwise… These companies has existed for years. They have good reputations, global customer bases and some of them offer not just peer learning meetings. They also provide consulting and advising services. Those are some strong strengths that we don’t have for now. One problem that we are working on right now is how to protect our members’ information and create a environment that they felt comfortable in and would not hold back. If we can figure this out and make it become our strength, I can see the bright future of Enrich.