Connect with professionals just like you in St. Louis – or venture out and try networking with a completely different group!
Variety may be the spice of life, but when it comes to networking, it’s also the secret to success. Getting involved with a variety of networking groups offers you the chance to develop your sales pitch, strengthen your support network and keep up-to-date with the ever-changing local market.
St. Louis is teeming with great networking groups. Whether you’re new to the city or a life-long resident, just starting out or at the top of your game, check out these ten St. Louis networking events and find the group — or groups — that will help spice up your career.
For freelancers, solopreneurs and small business owners, this is a group that gets you. Lunch meetings are held monthly on the first Friday of the month, with an informational speaker and guided questions to help newcomers and networking veterans alike get the conversation going at their table.
As the name implies, this group takes networking seriously — but not so seriously they can’t have fun with it. The lunch meetings are held at Duffy’s Bar and Restaurant on the first Tuesday of each month. Organizer Sam Naes promises “as much networking as the law allows!” The St. Louis Networking Group is a great place to start if you’re new to the networking scene.
If you’re looking for a group that offers faith-based support alongside networking opportunities, St. Louis Tapestry may the right fit. This women’s business group meets weekly, with meetings in the morning, afternoon or evening.
In addition to their business-focused mastermind events, the group also holds a monthly social gathering and a Bible study book club.
StartLouis is dedicated to bringing together St. Louis startups, entrepreneurs, investors and anyone interested in the St. Louis startup scene. Their monthly meetings boast big numbers, regularly drawing 70+ attendees. Each meeting features two speakers, ample networking time and “Pitch Practice” for startups in attendance to tell the group who they are and what they need. The free meetings are are held at T-Rex on the second Tuesday of the month.
Love to golf? Then you know there’s no better way to develop a new business relationship that bonding over a birdie. Fore Business is all about taking the time to build relationships in the best possible way: over a round of golf. Their monthly networking meeting consists of lunch, mentoring and golf lessons from a PGA pro, followed by nine holes on the course at The Highlands in Forest Park. Meetings cost $39, which includes the cost of lunch and golf lessons.
If you prefer to focus your networking efforts with a tight-knit group of women hailing from a variety of industries, Women’s Power Networking may be the right group for you. Membership costs $200 annually and is by invitation only, but guests can attend up to three meetings for free before joining.
Each group accepts only one member per profession, bringing in new members mostly through referrals. There are several chapters in the St. Louis area, including Chesterfield, Kirkwood, South County, Fenton and St. Charles.
Unlike many groups that emphasize networking for sales people and small business owners, the Association for Corporate Growth is a place for top executives and high-level service professionals who specialize in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Fees for the monthly networking breakfasts reflect this focus, with a three-tiered pricing structure that has members and top-level executive guests getting in free, members from another chapter paying $35 and service provider guests (attorneys, accountants, consultants, etc.) paying $50.
Looking for a group of people who love doing business, but love having fun, too? The St. Louis Young Professionals don’t limit themselves to networking at a breakfast meeting or lunch and learn, preferring to develop relationships through engaging activities. Recent events have included bar crawls, hiking and darts competitions. This group is open to anyone who wants to make friends, have fun and get business done.
St. Louis loves small business. Whether you own a small business, work for one, or hope to start one soon, the St. Louis Entrepreneur Meetup Group is a great place to gather support and get ideas. The monthly presentation-style lunch meetings at Ami’s in Rock Hill cover business-related topics like Internet marketing, real estate investing and public speaking. If you aren’t can’t make a lunchtime networking event or prefer a more relaxed meeting format, the group occasionally hosts evening open networking events.
10. Yellow Tie
The Yellow Tie philosophy is all about giving. Members can participate in a number of different groups, focusing on everything from lead sharing to business building to skills enhancement. Annual memberships are $240, but Yellow Tie also offers free monthly events that are open to the public and support their mission to help entrepreneurs at all levels build their business.
Bonus: Networking over the river
The Metro East is doing big business these days, just a couple of miles from downtown St. Louis. If you’re looking to expand your network across the river, check out these options:
The People in Business networking group is devoted to building a community of business owners. Members are encouraged to attend meetings in several locations and develop relationships throughout the group. PIB offers morning meetings in O’Fallon, Highland and Collinsville, Ill. Lunch meetings are held in Edwardsville, Belleville, and Marion, Ill.
The rapid growth the Women Empowering Women group has seen is emblematic of the way business gets done in the Metro East. Meetings offer businesswomen the opportunity to get connected, spread the word about what they do and develop their networking skills. WEW has five Illinois chapters (O’Fallon, Godfrey, Troy, Edwardsville and Clinton County), and is opening their first Missouri chapter in Arnold.
Shelby Blanchard Stogner is a freelance copywriter and blogger who helps businesses get the word out about the great work they’re doing. Visit her on the web at www.sbscopywriting.com for marketing tips and advice on how your business can benefit from zombies.