Virtual Meeting Services

We’ve been seeing a lot of people requesting information on virtual meeting platform options. We don’t have vast experience in this area but can offer what information we do have. Please remember to try different options out before your big meeting. Schedule a meeting with a friend or co-worker to test. Also, know that each individual attending your meeting might have internet issues that cause disruptions but that doesn’t always mean the platform you are using isn’t functioning correctly.

During this time we’ve heard of a lot of bandwidth issues. Many are moving their meetings on to these platforms and they are hitting their limits. Be patient.

Here are some platforms that we are aware of……


Microsoft Teams

Google Hangouts

Free Conference Call

Ring Central

Go To Meeting







Virtual Meeting Etiquette

During this time there will be an increase in the use of virtual meetings. Here are a few reminders as you host or attend these types of meetings.

  1. Check your surroundings. Think about the location in which you are attending your virtual meeting. What is the background people will see? Make sure you don’t have a pile of laundry in the view, kids aren’t running around (if you can help it) and that the lighting is good.
  2. Prepare yourself. Working remotely allows you freedom to dress casual. Just remember that you can possibly be seen from your shoulders up. Don’t have bedhead and prepare your face.  But you sure can keep your pajama pants and slippers on.
  3. Be prepared and keep distractions at bay. Get on to the meeting early. Make sure your screen is ready to go especially if you are presenting items from your screen. Be in a quiet room, silence cell phones and prepare others in the vicinity so they can be quiet – including animals.
  4. Utilize MUTE! Please, please, please, when you are joining a meeting put yourself on mute. Especially if you are joining just to be a part of the call and you are not contributing. If you do speak, when you are finished immediately turn your mute back on. If you are the host of the meeting, use the mute all functionality or mute individuals if they aren’t muting themselves.
  5. Remember this is still a meeting. Please treat this as a meeting. Don’t eat (if you are on video or are asked to participate in the conversation), speak clearly, slow and try not to interrupt. Make eye contact – I know this is weird but it is important. DON’T GO TO THE BATHROOM OR WASH DISHES! Be professional just like if you were in person.

Ultimately….enjoy this time as we utilize modern technology and remember we are blessed to still be conducting business and connecting with others. Stay well!

-Cara Owings, Co-Owner

The Connection Exchange


Referrals – The scoop on local BNI

As you may have noticed, we’ve been talking a little bit about referrals this month on our social media and in our newsletter. The Connection Exchange serves as a sort of referral group all on its own. But we also know it is good to spread the love! Having multiple sources of referrals, leads, etc is good for business. There are several ways to get leads and referrals. You can have internal referral programs, join referral or networking groups, have referral partners, and paid lead generation sources (Connection Exchange). These are all great avenues to grow and get new business. One popular referral group in Columbia (and probably across the nation) is BNI. I reached out to a good friend of mine, Amanda Quick with Nerium International, to get the scoop on local BNI as I know she values her group. For those unfamiliar with BNI this will be good information for you.

Here is the scoop….BNI stands for Business Network International and there are 4 different BNI groups in Columbia, MO. They meet at various times during the week. The motto of BNI is “Giver’s Gain”. If you give you will receive….so give referrals to get them! Amanda shared this with me, “BNI isn’t your typical networking group and it’s definitely not for everyone. We have a weekly structured meeting, expectations of specific activity and we build strong relationships. It’s our personal goal to help each and every member build their business. You get out of it what you put into it…like anything in life. Personally, I have met some amazing people, learned an incredible amount of business and the best thing is the friendships I’ve developed.”

Utilizing different ways to give and receive referrals is good business.



Create a lasting, positive connection

When was the last time you sent a handwritten note?

We found this article, Handwritten Notes Are a Rare Commodity. They’re Also More Important Than Ever. by John Colman on the Harvard Business Review website, and it was worth the read. It really resonated with us and we love these quotes; “…in a world where so much communication is merely utilitarian, these simple acts of investment, remembrance, gratitude, and appreciation can show the people who matter to your life and business that they are important to you.” And… “we can reach out to others in a way that creates a lasting, positive connection.”

Well, we hope that we can encourage you to send at least one over the next couple of weeks. Participate in our connection contest. Check out our Facebook page for details



Perfect your elevator pitch

By Cara Owings, C0-Founder/Owner

How you introduce yourself is important to what happens next in a conversation. Whether you are at an event or starting a conversation with one individual, plan your pitch and perfect it. The point of  your introduction is not to sell your products and service. It is to spark interest in you and what you do.

Create your very best elevator pitch with these three steps.

  1. Explain what problem you solve for your customers.

Don’t worry to much about explaining the details of what products and services you provide. Instead, focus on the problem you solve for your customers. What is the end result for your customers?

  1. Explain your solution to the problem you solve.

Make it clear what you do to solve the problems your customers face. This should give a clear picture of what you do.

  1. Now, give a call to action or ask a question.

Tell them exactly what you want or who you are looking for. Are you there to just connect? Set a coffee meeting to learn more about each other? You are simply looking to continue the conversation to take the action to make it happen.

Hi, I’m _______________________ (your name) with _____________________ (your company). We….now go through #1, 2 and 3.