An Epic List of Networking Events: Where to Meet People in Your City

Jul 10, 2015 -
Everyone thinks they need to network more, but few people actually go out there and do it. Well, the excuse-making and procrastination ends here. There are so many places to meet new people, whether you want to stick to your field or just meet other cool professionals who live near you. From the hustle-and-bustle of New York City to the shores of San Diego, we’ve compiled the best networking events across the country. Click through to your city, and you’ll find a handful of awesome networking opportunities. What are you waiting for? (Click here to tweet this EPIC list.)

1. Atlanta, Georgia

Several international companies call Atlanta home. If you do too, check out the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Atlanta, or the low-commitment Atlanta Under 40 group.

2. Austin, Texas

Yes, we have South By Southwest on our networking event list, but we know Austin is about more than a month full of parties. Seeking a more laid-back vibe? Try Tech Ranch Austin’s Campfire Teambuilding, which brings together the startup community outside of the bar scene.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Is Boston the new Silicon Valley? Find out yourself! From Boston New Technology monthly showcases to Boston Girl Geeks monthly dinners, this city offers an outlet for every aspiring startup founder.

4. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte ranks high on best-of lists for professionals. If you live here but aren’t networking, you’re missing out! GeekMeet Charlotte offers a lighthearted, but supportive group of tech professionals; Queen City Young Active Professionals provides a more social setting, complete with book clubs and BINGO nights.

5. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s creative and entrepreneurial scene is thriving, with lots of options for meeting and learning. If you’re a foodie, try the Chicago Food + Tech Meetup; artists, check out Design Cloud Chicago’s Second Thursday workshops.

6. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland has big plans for the high tech industry, but there’s a place to meet colleagues whatever your industry or area of expertise. Try Engage! Cleveland for a variety of events geared toward young professionals.

7. Dallas, Texas

In a city as big as Dallas, it’s easy to get stuck in the routine of your own neighborhood. Branch out with a group like The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, which offers classes and opportunities to collaborate.

8. Denver, Colorado

Recent economic growth in Denver means plenty of professionals to meet. Check out The Networking Jumpstart for speed networking in an intimate group.

9. Fort Worth, Texas

Texas history and modern culture combine in Fort Worth, and there are plenty of places to network in this large metropolitan area. Try Linking Together DFW North Texas for a group that meets monthly alongside a vibrant LinkedIn community.

10. Houston, Texas

Last year, Houston ranked as one of the top cities for U.S. job creation. Better get out there and start networking! We love the Support Local Grow Together Coffee Club, which focuses on Houston-area small businesses.

11. Jacksonville, Florida

Entrepreneurs and professionals alike on Florida’s northeast coast are bound to find a networking event they love in Jacksonville. Try Interchanges Wednesdays for monthly events (on Wednesdays, naturally) that showcase some of the city’s hottest eateries while you meet and greet.

12. Kansas City, Missouri

What’s better than one city for networking? Two cities -- Kansas cities, that is. Our Kansas City list focuses on Missouri, but also includes events over the state line in Kansas. Visit KC Roundtable for a breakfast meeting focused on community (and a little commiseration, too).

13. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis has a growing tech scene, but its variety of networking groups offers options for any professional. Want a deep dive into a tight-knit community? For a yearly fee, Rainmakers offers more than 10 networking and training events every month.

14. Los Angeles, California

It’s not just about Hollywood -- Los Angeles is perfect for professional networking, too. Groups like Writers With Drinks LA don’t guarantee getting a sneak peak at a movie script, but you never know who you’ll meet!

15. Louisville, Kentucky

With a nickname like Possibility City, it’s hard to resist networking in Louisville. Want to give back to the community while you do so? Check out the Louisville Urban League Young Professionals, which offers monthly meetups and a variety of volunteer opportunities.

16. New York, New York

The Big Apple provides big opportunities for networking. Looking for a student-friendly group? Look up New York Women in Communications, designed for women in all areas of the communications field.

17. Memphis, Tennessee

Once a Mississippi River shipping hub, Memphis still has a thriving business community. Memphis loves startups, too. Save an evening for Startup Grind Memphis, which offers discussion led by notable startup founders in a casual setting.

18. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Here’s another tech-minded city. Kick off your day with Philadelphia TechBreakfast for a monthly meetup that won’t have you out past your bedtime.

19. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix isn’t just a great place to work -- it’s also a great city for singles. So, start mingling! Try Valley Young Professionals, run by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, for programming geared toward professionals aged 25 to 39.

20. Portland, Oregon

Who doesn’t love Portland? If you’re working in this hot city, there’s a networking match for you. Want low commitment? Try Last Tuesday events hosted by the Portland Business Alliance. You don’t even need to register!

21. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh offers a vibrant networking community. Purposed Networking brings together local professionals on your schedule -- you’ll find morning and evening events to suit your mood.

22. Sacramento, California

California’s capital city is known for its diversity and increasing job opportunities. Roving Connectionopolous events offer networking and a chance learn about what some of the city’s experts really do all day.

23. San Diego, California

Don’t let San Diego’s near-perfect climate distract you from broadening your professional network. Ladies, reserve time each month to join the Women’s Wisdom group for lunch and friendship among local professionals.

24. San Francisco, California

Fewer places are hipper than San Francisco, and there are a few networking opportunities that are as trendy as the city itself. Our favorite: Digital Detox, which hosts device-free events and retreats.

25. Seattle, Washington

The startup scene in Seattle is ripe for networking, even if you aren’t an entrepreneur -- yet. For a laid-back, intimate gathering, try Seattle Startup Open Coffee. This weekly meeting doesn’t start until 8:30, which is perfect for not-so-early birds.

26. St. Louis, Missouri

You’ve got lots of options for networking in St. Louis, along with events in the emerging Metro East neighborhood across the river in Illinois. How about a game of golf over lunch? Fore Business offers a golf lesson, nine holes, and lunch every month.

27. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson offers a variety of networking groups that focus on niche industries, like marketing -- plus some variety groups to help you broaden your professional network. Don’t want to dole out big bucks to meet new people? Try Exceptional Entrepreneurs Business Networking Tucson, which hosts weekly lunch meetings.

28. Washington, D.C.

Our nation’s capital is about far more than politics as usual -- we can attest to this because our Brazen office is based here! One unique pick: DC Night Owls, which brings together the tech, arts and freelancer communities for after-hours events and hackathons.