Everyone (including me!) is always stressing the importance of networking. We know that “what you know” is less important than “who you know”. In a world where all it takes to get your foot in the door is knowing the right person, “your network is your net worth”.
And trust me, I can attest. Networking has the power to create some amazing opportunities.
But, how do you actually go about finding local networking events, conferences, etc. to attend?
I received this exact question on Instagram the other day and her question actually brings up a good point – we’re always talking about networking and its importance but often we don’t talk about how to find local networking opportunities.
So, in an effort to make your life easier, here are five places you can search for networking opportunities:
Did you know that Twitter has a great search function where you can scan for keywords? This is my favorite and most efficient way to find information quickly! It’s very simple to use and for those of you without Twitter accounts, you’ll love this point – you don’t need a Twitter account to use it!
Here’s a sample search to show you how it works:
- Go to twitter.com/search
- Type in networking events and the name of your city into the search bar
- Click Latest so you can see the most recent tweets
- Scroll down until you see something that catches your eye
You’re probably used to using Eventbrite for either buying tickets for an event or collecting RSVPs or ticket sales for your own event. But, aside from being a ticketing platform, Eventbrite serves as an excellent (and free!) database to find events in your city. Events are organized by a variety of categories such as Music, Arts, Classes and of course, Networking.
Although slightly similar to Eventbrite, Meetup is more focused on providing a platform for creating social groups as opposed to a platform for ticket sales. There are a lot more categories to search from or you can search by what you want to do. For example, you may want to learn to cook.
Oh, good ol’ Linkedin. I know that a lot of people are overwhelmed by Linkedin but it is one of the most underestimated social platforms. I highly recommend spending at least 30 minutes a week to scan your Linkedin feed to see what your network is up to. This is the place where tons of networking opportunities are shared! In addition to scanning your feed, I also suggest joining relevant groups as it is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and keep up-to-date on upcoming events.
You may or may not be thinking I’m crazy for even suggesting Facebook as it’s not exactly what comes to mind when you thinking of networking. Although I use Facebook primarily for keeping in touch with friends and family, it’s also another great tool to search for local events.
There are 2 methods of searching:
Type in what you’re looking for into the search bar at the top. For example, “networking”.
You can filter your search in terms of who it was posted by (i.e.your friends or a group you’re a part of), the location and the date it was posted.
Click ‘Events’ on the left hand side of your home feed.
You’ll be taken to page that will display the events happening in the upcoming week, events popular in your network and local events. What’s great about Facebook is you can also directly add the events into whatever calendar you use – whether it’s Outlook, Apple or Google!
So, there you have it! 5 different places that you can search for networking opportunities in your local area! Of course, you can also search these places when travelling to a different city and you’re looking to meet new people.
And, I have some big news! I’ve added an Event Calendar to the site! In an effort to be a helpful resource for you, I decided to add a calendar where you can find a variety of different networking opportunities. From Twitter chats to conferences, this calendar will help you create a diverse networking strategy. I have also added the events that I’ll be attending over the next few weeks (either as an attendee or a speaker). Click ‘Calendar’ located in the navigation bar at the top to view the calendar!
- If you’re organizing a local event and would like to have it added to my calendar, please send me an email with full details.
- If you’re thinking of attending an event but don’t have anyone to go with, send me an email and we can make plans to meet up!
As a Bonus I created the How to Master Networking Workbook to help you master your networking strategy.