Whether you’re looking for a new job, to generate leads or to land that big client, networking events are the way to go. But how do you find networking events in your industry to attend?
We reached out to industry experts to find the tools and methods they use to find the best networking events to attend.
#1 Local Business Networking International Chapter
The easiest way to find a networking group is by checking out your local Business Networking International chapter. BNI has 8000 groups that are scattered all over the world, so odds are good that there’s one by you. These groups meet every single week, so if you’re looking for a consistent, referral focused, networking event to start attending, BNI is a good place to start. You can also check out your local chamber of commerce website and Facebook page to learn about upcoming one-off networking events.
Contributors: Andrew Schuttfrom Elevated Web Marketing
#2 Social Networking Sites
I find networking events in my industry through Meetup, Eventbrite, and sometimes Instagram (based on the accounts that I follow). It's fairly easy to search by city for the first two to find what's going on during a certain time period.
Contributors: Melissa Chiou from MelissaChiou
#3 Joining a professional organization
The best way to find networking events is by joining a professional organization. Getting active in an organization can quickly fill your calendar with professional and social events and maybe even community services. This is a great chance to meet people of the same caliber in different environments.
Contributors: Michelle Ngome from MichelleNgome
Social media, especially LindkedIn, is a great place to find the right business networking events in your industry. You can have time to interact online and get to know more about their functions prior to joining or attending an event.
Contributors: Bijan Abdi from Freedom National Insurance
#5 Digital Health Forward
Digital Health Forward leverages our existing connections in the healthcare industry to find networking events but to craft a new, more tailored networking event, we create our own. We reach out to specific groups that we want to target and encourage them to extend the invitation, equipping them with the necessary social posts, email content, etc.
Contributors: Hillary Conlin from Digital Health Forward
#6 Check Out Awards
Find out what awards your industry has. Even if you aren’t ready to enter yourself, awards events are highly publicised and often attended by influential and interesting people in your industry.
Black tie gala events can be expensive to attend, so look for smaller award events. Conferences sometimes have awards included at the end of the event, or there are lower-key, evening events for niche awards.
Awards are always hosted and organized by someone. This is often a professional body, industry group, or magazine. They may have other events throughout the year as well. Get on their mailing list and see what other networking opportunities they are holding.
I’ve attended a number of award events, both formal black tie and more laidback affairs. They are always interesting and present a great opportunity for mixing with new people.
Contributors: Elizabeth Harrin from Otobos Consultants Ltd
#7 It’s all about research
If you are looking for relevant events to attend put a few hours aside, create a spreadsheet and start searching. It can be as simple as Googling for example 'your industry' events in 'your location' or try search meet-ups. Your local press and relevant trade press will be also listing events in your industry. Relevant bloggers will be talking about networking and of course, social media. There are many groups on, for example, Facebook, that you can join and ask if anyone can recommend any events. Again, just search for groups related to your profession. The same goes for Twitter, of course, you need to use relevant hashtags and LinkedIn, just posting and asking if anyone can recommend good networking events is networking itself.
Contributors: Hana Bednarova from Hanabednarova
#8 Newsletters and Calenders
- Join local group newsletters of interest and see what events they list everything from Chamber of Commerce to community health organizations to your gym or health club to cast a wider net
- Calendar listings in local business journals
Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls
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