Business networking is important whether you run a small or big business, brick and mortar office or an online shop. Not only can local networking enable you to meet up with like-minded people and develop your business, but you can also connect with others for motivation and support. Never underestimate the value that others, especially those not related to your business, can bring.

Thanks to the internet and local organizations, there are so many fantastic ways to network with others. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Eventbrite evolved from an online ticket service to a full-service event hub. They now offer the ability to find events based on category and location.You can easily find local get-togethers in your vicinity without the need to troll the internet or read the actual newspaper. Query relevant keywords to see what events, meetings and expos come up on Eventbrite’s calendar. While it is not specifically aimed at networking, Eventbrite is a great place to start.


Meetup, like Eventbrite, is used for all different kinds of events, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. Many business networking meetings are advertised on Meetup, and upon signing, you will be introduced to some of the groups which may cover your specific needs. It is a tremendous resource which allows you to mingle with the local community and get to know your “neighbors.”


While LinkedIn can be a valuable site for entrepreneurs across the globe to interact online, it is also a platform for finding out about events in your area. By socializing in compatible groups, you will subsequently learn about gatherings and meet-ups in your niche. Longevity of relationships is key to making the most of the professional social networking platform. Visit a number of groups until you find the ones which are most in sync with your goals and then make them worth your while.


Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook allows you to socialize with individuals in groups as a way to get the conversation off the ground. Most people are on Facebook these days, so it could be helpful for finding suitable business networking events. You can either search through relevant groups or click on the Events link to see what’s going on in your area. No longer is Facebook just a venue to share personal photos and feelings. It can now help link you to like-minded professionals around you.


At first glance, it may not seem like the ideal place for a business event, but NetParty is a social networking site aimed specifically at young professionals. NetParty can advise you of any events in your neighborhood where you can chat and meet individuals with similar interests. They profess to assemble at the world’s hippest venues and claim to have over 200,000 members.


Eventful’s website lists concerts and sporting events as well as networking and organizational meetups for those looking for more than just entertainment options. Search within your local area to see what is scheduled over the next few months and attend those which you think may be most helpful to your situation.

Local Chamber of Commerce

Your local chamber of commerce can be a beneficial resource as they host a multitude of networking events for local businesses. These meetups provide regular opportunities for you to become acquainted with others. There is a fee for joining your local chamber which can range upward of $300 depending on the number of people in your organization. Its specific value to your business will depend on how many attend the meeting and who they are.

Publications and Journals

If you are in a particular niche industry and want to bridge the gap with those specific to your industry, you may want to look first and foremost at any specialized publications or journals. They can be a valuable resource and show you certain events which may be happening around the country. These can be an excellent avenue to meeting those in your field and a real wealth of industry knowledge for those looking to make serious strides in their field.

Business Networking International (BNI)

Business Networking International is the world’s largest business networking group with over 200,000 members connecting in over 7,800 chapters across the world. BNI operates on a philosophy of “giver’s gain” whereby the more work you give to others, the more you will get back in return. Membership fees vary among chapters but are generally between $400 – $500 a year.

Women in Business Networking (WiBN)

If you are a woman and want to chat specifically with other women in business, then WiBN may be the network for you. It allows you work in close collaboration with others and build on your success through the encouragement of other like-minded supporters. They offer two levels of membership – the first for individuals and the second for businesses, the cost of which is $175 and $750 (for up to five people) per annum respectively.

There are many ways to seek out local networking events to suit your business needs. And always remember, if there has not yet been a group created that strikes your fancy, then you can always start one yourself.