If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere is the sentiment heard around the world whenever the words “New York” are uttered. New York is a tough, gritty city filled with all the prospects in the world. However, as a busy professional making their way around the city that never sleeps, you will be well accustomed to long hours at the office, an abundant amount of never-ending deadlines and a seemingly impossible way of finding your next big connection.
It is therefore imperative that the best way to expertly navigating your professional way around The Big Apple is to join a few networking groups and of course, attend the various events held around the city. We’ve compiled a list of the best networking groups to join and the reasons why:
ACG has more than 12,000 members worldwide and the New York sector is one of the city’s staple networking groups. ACG NY has members from numerous different industry’s including corporate executives, commercial and investment bankers, private equity investors, as well as accounting, legal and finance professionals. They hold regular networking events and are best known for their Annual Business Conference which brings together professionals from across the nation and the world and showcases the best speakers from business, entertainment and politics.
What makes this networking group so notable is that it’s different to your usual networking group. Claiming that this isn’t just a place where people are simple thrown into a room with no focus or common goal; the creator Kate Griffin prides their success on enlightening professionals on the best ways to network effectively and build their business more authentically. They host events every two to three weeks at various locations.
NYCBNG has been hosting business networking events since 2007. With over 350 events under their belt, NYCBNG has earned the stellar reputation as one of the premier business networking groups in NYC. In fact, NYCBNG won the coveted Top 100 Small Business Influencers Award in Leadership. You can meet Medium Business Owners, Business Professionals, C-Level Executives, Company Reps, Investors, Lenders and more at their monthly events.
The world’s largest Meetup Group, NY Tech Meetup recently merged with NY Tech Council to form NY Tech Alliance. The mission of the NY Tech Alliance is to represent, inspire, support, and help lead the New York technology community and ecosystem to create a better future for all. Founded in 2016 with the merger of NY Tech Meetup and the New York Technology Council, the organization has over 60,000 individual and institutional members, reflecting the full spectrum of the greater New York area tech community and making it the largest tech organization in the region. They hold events once a month, wherein NYC technology companies are able to take the stage at the Skirball Theater at NYU and show the world what they’ve built.
ABA specializes in business to business networking and has been in operation since 1988. They are New York’s premier business development and networking association and dedicate their group to helping small to mid-sized businesses increase their sales by providing dynamic business connections and superior resources. The group’s uniqueness is made up of their distinct councils (i.e. networking groups) of around 30 members that meet up each week. There is only one type of business or profession represented in each group, exemplifying exclusivity. The great thing is, you can also sign up as a gust member to “trial” the group before joining.
Whine and Dine Networking specializes in Human Resource professionals. Their aim is to advance professional and social networking opportunities without the burden of excessive rules or requirements and to support the HR community everywhere. The group has over 10,000 practitioners and partners and hold weekly dinner and wine tasting events throughout Manhattan.
To really rub shoulders with the who’s who of NYC, a membership with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) is a must. The MCC is a vibrant business membership organization comprised of a cross section of 15,000 business members and subscribers ranging from sole proprietors to large corporations and multi-national firms. The Chamber holds events throughout the month, including networking breakfasts and seminars. Join the Chamber to connect with entrepreneurs, leaders and executives and help your business grow.
With over 200,000 members in 7,500 plus chapters worldwide, Business Network International (BNI) is the world’s leading referral organization. In 2015 alone, BNI members generated millions of referrals resulting in over $9.3 billion in closed business worldwide. It would therefore make sense for any professional to become a part of this networking group. There are various chapters throughout New York with numerous events held every week.
This non-profit networking group pledges their allegiance to supporting women in the communications industry. The group holds monthly Cocktails and Conversations events, which allows ample time to meet and greet other professionals 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.
Swap the Biz distinguishes themselves by their high end, sophisticated, business networking events in NYC and the dedication they have to their members. Their business networking events are unique, social and varied. This group is perfect for Entrepreneurs, Professionals, CEO’s, Attorneys, Sales Professionals and Small Business Owners. They boast over 3,500 members and hold monthly events for all your networking needs.
Adrian’s Network is an immensely successful business networking community. The group meets 8-10 times per month and combines highly facilitated business networking phone calls and webinars with monthly in-person breakfast, lunch and cocktail events. Membership costs $20 a month but you are able to receive your first month trial membership for free.
This particular networking group is dedicated to building business relationships in a professional setting at some of New York City’s best venues. With over 4,500 networkers, their monthly events draw anywhere from 150 to 300 professionals. The group is particularly popular with the finance, marketing, real estate, technology, law, and entertainment industries. They host breakfast panels, afternoon round table, evening seminars, and cocktail mixers to accommodate their audience’s availability.
MNG offers a relaxed, comfortable, no-pressure atmosphere in which to meet members and guests and form long-lasting business relationships and new friendships. MNG has developed a highly effective and rapidly growing philosophy. With each group meeting twice a month, MNG stresses the importance of getting to know one’s networking colleagues and their businesses both in group meetings and through external one-on-one meetings.
Joining one (or a few!) networking groups is a sure-fire way to up your contact game and to ensure your name is remembered when it comes to referral season. Remember that in order to get the most use out of networking, you need to ensure that you attend events and come prepared with business cards and a positive attitude. New York is a great place to enhance your professional career and networking groups are a fantastic way to do just that!