We’ve dubbed February “Get Off Your Butt and Network Month”! If you or your organization are interested in hosting your own online networking event, request a demo here >>
New York City may have a large population, but it doesn’t make networking any less intimidating. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start.
Break the ice by attending one of these regular events that attract a variety of movers and shakers. Most have reasonable entrance fees, and membership is rarely required. All you need is a willingness to shake a few hands! (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. NY Tech Meetup’s Demo Night
Monthly Demo Nights draw as many as 800 attendees, so grab a friend and get your ticket early to hear from some of the city’s hottest startups. Ten-year-old nonprofit NY Tech Meetup hosts a slew of other events throughout the year, including demo nights and discussions especially for women in tech.
This student-friendly nonprofit supports women in every area of the communications industry. Monthly Cocktails & Conversations allow ample time to meet and greet before discussing current industry topics with guest speakers. While membership offers programming discounts and access to members-only events, there are plenty of opportunities for non-members to get a taste, like speed mentoring and a weekly Twitter chat.
3. The NYC Business Networking Group’s Grade-A Networking Mixer
Small business owners, execs and B2B service providers meet at the monthly Grade-A Networking Mixer, which regularly welcomes more than 100 professionals. This one is freestyle, so grab a beverage and dive in.
You don’t have to be a member of the Online News Association to attend ONA’s regular panels and workshops. Reporters and editors will find programming particularly relevant, but attendees are a mix of newsroom veterans, freelancers, photographers and data enthusiasts. Mingling is encouraged at presentations, and some are capped with happy hour.
5. Networking for Professionals’ High Speed Networking
Hate striking up conversation? Skip the small talk and get down to business at High Speed Networking. Shy types and those who seek structure will appreciate these two-hour programs that force you to mingle. The group also hosts monthly Shakers and Stirrers events for networking at a more relaxed pace. Bonus: you can scope out confirmed event attendees and their positions ahead of time.
6. Tech Cocktail NYC’s Mixer & Startup Showcase
No clue how to get to SXSW? Start with Tech Cocktail. The Mixer & Startup Showcase (11 cities strong!) is a must-attend for entrepreneurs, tech fans and anyone who wants to scope out the next big things. You’re bound to leave with a few good ideas and a few business cards in your pocket.
7. Freelancers Union’s Freelancers Happy Hour
The Freelancers Union offers everything from yoga to popup coworking events in its hometown. Monthly happy hours in Brooklyn provide a low-pressure opportunity to connect with other solopreneurs. Not sure how to break the ice? Crack a joke about working in your pajamas all day. That’ll be sure to start a conversation.
Here’s a chance for early birds to shine. This twice-monthly breakfast club has no agenda or budget (it’s buy-your-own-breakfast) but has the admirable goal of fostering the neighborhood’s growing tech community. If your work involves coding and Web development, start your day here.
9. Be Social Change’s Change Makers Happy Hour
Open to do-gooders in every industry, Be Social Change helps nonprofit, education and entrepreneur professionals amplify their social impact. Monthly Change Makers Happy Hours help you dip your toes into the social change scene. Ready for a deep dive? Take a Makers Institute class, where topics range from business plans for startups to crowdfunding for social good.
Lisa Rowan is a writer and editor in Washington, D.C. During networking events, you can find her within arm’s reach of the snack table.