6 Ways to Discover Great Local Networking Groups in Your Industry
Want to create meaningful connections in your industry? Start networking offline. Getting face to face time with your customers and your peers will help you establish your business’s reputation in new ways. No matter how small your city may be, there is likely to be at least one local networking group for business in your area. In this post, we’re going to look at a few ways you can discover great local networking groups in your industry.
The first place to start when searching for local networking groups is Google. If you do a search for your city name followed by business networking, you will find event calendars in your area for local business events. As you browse through these calendars, you should be able to spot some industry-specific events along with general networking events that you can participate in. Be sure to visit the website of the event to learn more about requirements (if any) for attending upcoming events.
The Local Chamber of Commerce
If Google doesn’t produce great results, you can always try your local chamber of commerce. Most will have an events link in their main menu to guide you to local networking events for businesses in your area. Some will also have a search box so you can narrow down events by keywords for your industry.
If you want to network while building speaking skills so that you can go beyond attending events and start speaking at them, then Toastmasters groups can help. These are local networking groups that meet up on a weekly basis to allow members to practice their presentation and speaking skills. There’s a good chance that you will learn about more great events from other members in the group while you hone in on your new skills.
Meetup.com is a website that allows you to search for networking events in your area based on personal and professional interests. In addition to discovering local networking groups in your area, you can also use this website to learn more about the people who attend specific events in your area. It’s a great way to get to know some of the people online before introducing yourself offline.
Be sure to sign up for a Meetup account so that you can get notified about new groups in your area based on your interests. Even if there aren’t any groups yet, you will want to be the first to know when a group is formed in the future.
Facebook can also help you discover some great local groups in a variety of ways. You can start by browsing your Local Groups tab to see Facebook groups created by people in your area. You can also do a search for your city and business to find groups for business owners in your area. Then, you can start chatting with people to see if there are any great events in your area to attend.
Another way to use Facebook is to visit prominent networkers in your area to see what Facebook groups they belong to. Even if you are not friends, you should be able to look at their personal profile’s About tab to see what public groups they belong to, based on their privacy settings. These should lead you to more networking groups in your area.
Know of some great conferences in your industry that will be happening in your area? Attend them. There’s a good chance you will run into a lot of local people in your industry who will be happy to talk about local events. It will also give you a chance to meet people in your industry.
On the off chance that you can’t find any industry-specific events in your area, traveling to a few conferences in your industry each year can allow you to get the in-person experience.
As you can see, there are a lot of places you can go to connect to people offline. Start by finding one great local networking group today and, once you see the benefits for your business, expand from there!