I started a group a few years ago that resisted the standard approach to networking. This morning was a happy confirmation that we have a good thing going.
We are all refugees (or alumni, to put a more positive spin on it) of other networking groups. We wanted to avoid any more of the forced and superficial generating of leads and referrals for people whom we didn't really know that well. We were seeking areas of common interest and levels of business experience to share ideas and information. It is best described as a peer advisory group. We do have a mutual interest in identifying and developing business opportunities and occasionally feel guilty about not generating more referrals for each other.
This morning after a long discussion on a variety of fascinating subjects that strayed far from our standard agenda, I apologized for neglecting to keep them focused on our networking agenda. "Hell no" they said, "these exchanges are why we come here and avoid other networking groups!"
I agree. The networking results are actually better than elsewhere and there is considerable value in sharing ideas and information among like-minded professionals. I recommend it to you. The breakfast doesn't even matter.