So you’ve set a goal to attend a networking event! Yay! Now let’s find one for you.
The easiest thing you can do is to search “places to network in __________” or “business events in _______”.
Event Listing Websites
While these websites don’t only list networking events, you can find something up your alley on Eventbrite, Eventful, MeetUp, or LinkedIn. You may even get a chance to meet your actual neighbors when you attend neighborhood events listed on nextdoor.com
The Chamber of Commerce
Don’t forget your city (and your surrounding cities) have a Chamber of Commerce, which hold regular events. In addition, some areas have separate associations for their Historic District and/or Downtown Business Association.
Give Back/Do-Gooders/Service Clubs
Don’t overlook the “oldies but goodies”, the service clubs. Remember that volunteering in your community is the original (and highest) form networking. Soroptimist International has been linking women together since 1921. We even found the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo (not joking), but if you’re looking for the tried and true service clubs, check these out:
- Soroptimist International
- Kiwanis International
- Lions Clubs International
- Optimist International
- Rotary International
Another way to give back is to volunteer at or attend events hosted by one of your local nonprofits.
Leverage Your History, Profession and More
Your high school and college alma matter have networking potential. The same for your professional association. Heck, there are all kinds of associations. We even found networking events through the International Association of Women.
Remember to Be Strategic
When you’re choosing a networking event to attend, be sure to consider who will be in attendance. Are you looking to meet potential clients? A fabulous referral partner? Both?
Think about life from their perspective and consider whether they would attend the event you’re considering attending. And, don’t over think it! The best thing you can do is to take action. You’re bound to meet someone awesome who knows someone who will be a good referral partner or potential client.
And remember — to be cool as a cucumber, confident and excited, follow our Networking Checklist!