By: Shama Hyder
Networking is still the number # 1 way to meet new prospects, get referrals, and build up your business. Here is a list of 21 networking hot spots:
1) Chamber of Commerce– A tried and true spot.
2) Any Business Journal Event- These are events sponsored by your local business journal. Think power breakfasts and educational seminars.
3) Meetups.com- There is a local meet up for almost every topic. Find one that you like or start your own!
4) Networking clubs- These exist for the sole purpose of giving and getting referrals. Hint: start by giving.
5) College alumni groups- You already share common ground!
6) Educational groups- Toastmaster’s, foreign language study groups, educational seminars. All great places to meet like minded individuals.
7) Civic organizations– Rotary, Elks, Kiwanis, Lions. Clubs named after animals. = )
8 ) Cultural events– Museum showings, library book clubs, symphonies.
9) Charity groups- Volunteer to help behind the scenes. You may be surprised at all the great people you meet.
10) Trade groups or professional association- One place to learn about your company, your competition, and your clients.
11) The airplane– Get to know your seat mates. It’s great one-on-one networking practice.
12) Neighborhood associations- Get to know your neighbors…and gain access to who they know.
13) Happy hour- Good way to meet people in a relaxed environment…just don’t get too relaxed.
14) Parents of your children’s friends- Don’t overlook this important networking opportunity.
15) Health clubs- Don’t underestimate the power of a workout. You can lose weight and make friends.
16) Private clubs– Do your research and find one that attracts the type of clientelle you wish to serve.
17) Coffee or lunch- I always meet interesting people at Starbucks and Whole Foods. Don’t be afraid to say hi to new people.
18) Trade shows- A great way to find joint venture partners and learn more about what’s new in your industry.
19) Conferences- Conferences are educational and provide great networking opportunities.
20) Religious or spiritual organizations- Churches, synagogues, life-centers- establish yourself in the community.
21) Dog parks- Leverage your pets to meet with other professionals and fellow pet-lovers.
Care to add more to the list? Click on the comments link up top and share away!