I facilitate a business networking group for the New Haven (IN) Chamber of Commerce. I try and make the environment as quiet as possible during the meeting so we can focus our attention on each person when its their turn to speak. We have a private room away from the other restaurant customers and I try and keep side conversations non-existent.  I think that’s the best way to hear each of us and to show respect.

An area I often forget to mention is electronic devices like tablets. smartphones and computers.  I need to remind the networkers to turn off or silence their devices so we’re not interrupted with rings, beeps, weird ring-tones and other annoying noise they might make. If they do need to answer a smartphone, please do it away from our room. Additionally, try to do it in between speakers so it doesn’t distract us while someone is doing their commercial.I let my calls go to voice-mail and then check it after the meeting or in between speakers.

I do the same thing with my smartphone when I’m at a networking group, too. My smartphone goes on vibrate or is turned off. I also try very hard to not use my smartphone while our meeting is going. I do glance at it to keep track of the time 

There are a few networkers I have experienced which answer their phones while someone is speaking during a meeting. And sometimes with a loud ringtone. I don’t care how important the call is to you it’s not worth the ill-will you may experience from other networkers with your rude behavior.  the vast majority of networkers are polite and don’t interrupt networking meetings with their phones. What are your experiences with smartphones and networking groups?

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