About NSBF

North Shore Business Forum FAQs

“More than making business contacts, it’s making friends.”

WHAT IS THE NORTH SHORE BUSINESS FORUM (NSBF)
The North Shore Business Forum (NSBF) is a group of small business owners who meet on the first and third Friday morning of each month for informal lectures given by business owners on a wide variety of topics. Participants are also invited to give their 30-second “elevator pitch.” All business owners are welcome; future, past, experience, or beginning – no membership or pre-registration necessary.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$10.00 per meeting with no annual membership fee. This fee includes a breakfast buffet.

IF I DON’T EAT BREAKFAST, DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY $10.00?
Yes. We pay Acapulcos per attendee.

WHAT IS THE FORMAT?
Registration officially begins at 7:15 am. If you have not given your five minute talk or spoken at the forum in the last 6 months, make sure to get a raffle ticket at the sign-in desk.

At 7:30 am, we all sit down and each person has the opportunity to introduce themselves to the group with a 30-second “elevator pitch” about their business. It is important to respect others and keep your introduction to just 30 seconds so everyone has a chance to introduce themselves.

We then have a five-minute speaker. This speaker has been chosen the week beforehand through a random drawing. While you certainly can talk about your business, we encourage you to use this five minutes to tell us more about yourself — how you got into business, your hobbies and interests, etc. We then pick a five-minute speaker for the next meeting from the tickets handed out at the door. Please do not take a ticket if you cannot attend the next meeting. Let a board member know ASAP if you need to cancel your presentation. We break for a two-minute coffee refill and then have our featured speaker.

Added in 2014: “The Meeting After the Meeting” – We’ve noticed that people linger long after the meeting is officially over to have private conversations with friends or to learn more from the speaker. That led to attendees wanting to offer their services, free of charge, after the meeting. We are just starting to book these opportunities, so please check back!

MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY
We have had a membership directory in the past, but it is on hold at present. (Previously, if you were a regular attendee at the forum, you could submit your listing to our online membership directory. There was a fee to be listed. The required Invitation Code could be obtained from the Greeter at the check-in desk.)

EMAIL REMINDERS
Email meeting reminders are sent out to our members. The sign up is located in the right hand column of this page. Note: If you change your email address, please email: contact@nsbforum.org.

WEATHER-RELATED CANCELLATIONS
In the event of severe snowstorms or other inclement weather that might force the cancellation of an NSBF meeting, please check your local media for news of school closing in Beverly, Massachusetts. If the weather is bad enough to cause the Beverly public school system to close, then there will be no NSBF meeting that day.  We will also try to post something on the NSBF’s Facebook page as soon as we know a meeting will have to be cancelled. If we know on a Thursday that weather will force cancellation the next morning, we may also send out notifications via the NSBF’s email list (sign up on the Home page if you aren’t already on this list!) and/or Meetup.

HOW DO I BECOME A SPEAKER AT THE FORUM?
We publish a listing of the subjects and volunteers for the upcoming year. A volunteer for each month is responsible for scheduling speakers. If you would like to speak on the subjects that have been chosen, please contact the volunteer directly.

VOLUNTEERS
We depend on volunteers to sign in participants, do publicity, schedule speakers and host the meetings. Each year we send around a schedule and ask for volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer, please speak to a board member. Please do not volunteer if you are new and have not attended meetings for at least 6 months or will not be able to fulfill your commitment.

HOW WAS NSBF STARTED?
In the mid 1980s, Fred Schaeffer owned Wadsworth Village on Centre Street in Danvers. It was an incubator office building, meaning that he supplied clerical staff, fax, and a copier to tenants, usually new businesses, who paid per service. At the time, this was a unique concept. To lure prospective tenants to his building, Fred began a Friday morning networking group he called The Wadsworth Forum. Each attendee gave a 30-second self-introduction and then there was a 30-minute business-related presentation—frequently by members of the group. Fred supplied the coffee (once a month he’d pass the hat), and each week two volunteers brought orange juice and donuts, bagels, etc. Unfortunately, Fred wasn’t able to rent as much office space as he needed to, and the bank foreclosed on him in 1992. A group of eight Wadsworth Forum attendees wanted to keep the meetings going, so they continued to meet in the old schoolhouse building in Danvers. They called the group The Business Forum. But the heat was kept at a bare minimum, and attendees had to keep their coats on for the winter meetings.

In 1993, the group moved to the King’s Grant Inn on Route 128N, and renamed itself the North Shore Business Forum (NSBF). The structure was the same as the Wadsworth Forum—each member gave a 30-second self-introduction, followed by a 30-minute speaker. One item was added to the program: one person was invited to expand his or her 30-second introduction to five minutes.

In January 2004, the King’s Grant Inn closed and the NSBF moved to the Danversport Yacht Club and in 2014 to Acapulcos. On July 1, 2004, the North Shore Business Forum incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

While the North Shore Business Forum had been managed successfully for over 20 years as a well-run, but loosely organized group with a steering committee at the helm, incorporation necessitated firming up the management of the organization. NSBF’s first president was Bob Stephens. Brett Kirkpatrick is the current president.

As has been true throughout our history, all business owners are welcome to join us for breakfast, networking, and an educational program on the first and third Friday morning of every month. Please join us — we’d love to meet you!