5 Networking Event Ideas

Whether you're looking for networking opportunities, planning an event or are interested in joining a networking community, there is a variety of networking event ideas to help you choose what you need. 

Networking plays a key role in your career progression and can be used for more than just making contacts with other professionals in your field. Networking can:

  • help you keep up with the latest innovations in your industry,
  • give you an opportunity to find some of the best talent for your company,
  • show you what the competition is up to,
  • be a source for building your business's client base,
  • help you land an industry internship or
  • give your company visibility in the industry.

Below are 5 networking event ideas to spark your imagination, give you ideas of where you can become involved and even help you determine if you should plan an event yourself.

Join a Networking Blog

Networking blogs are typically formed within a specific industry. For example, a networking blog in the IT field is specifically organized to help IT professionals share and compare information with their peers on similar experiences. Some blogs require memberships while others offer free access to certain portions of the blog. The blog may be part of a larger site that offers additional information for that specific field of professionals. The most informative of blogs also provides industry-related development and innovations.

Blog members sign in from any internet-connected computer, on their own schedule and read comments or submissions by other members. Typically there are message boards attached that allow bloggers and their audience to communicate with each other.

Lead a Networking Discussion Board

Networking discussion boards are interactive opportunities for professionals from the same subject-of-interest to discuss topics they are interested in, in an online format. Discussion boards provide users a casual environment to read and respond on their own time and are not usually confined to a particular date and time for live interaction.

Create a Networking Forum

Networking forums provide online posting opportunity for industry professionals to discuss problems, solutions, innovations and upcoming technology releases. They are typically organized by professionals that monitor and keep the online community current. The forum serves as a networking meeting where members log into the system and troubleshoot issues that directly affect their work. 

Attend a Networking Conference

Networking conferences can be held for one or more days, typically in convention center or hotel-type venues. Conferences are often marketed by invitation but can have parts or all of the event open to the public. Attendees register ahead of time and check in at the venue upon arrival. 

Conferences give attendees more time to gather information, network with peers and even conduct or participate in more informal interviews. They feature a scheduled agenda with multiple events planned.

Organize an Industry Networking Event

Industry networking events can feel more like a networking party where attendees come to mingle, exchange business cards and catch up on industry news. Successful industry networking events require good planning, advanced notice to attendees and a strategy for connecting attendees productively. These events can pack a whirlwind of benefits into a single evening and attendees should leave feeling energized and with a handful of business cards.