We all know how important it is to put yourself out there, but networking can be intimidating, especially if you are in new stomping grounds. Whether you are networking to find a new job, gain more business or maybe just meet some new friends, Madison has some great networking events and groups – check out the lists below for some of the options available to you in this active city.
Top 5 Free Events/Groups
- 1 Million Cups. Every week an entrepreneur presents their business plan to a diverse audience for feedback. The generosity of knowledge and camaraderie in this group is invigorating and they are always welcoming to newcomers! Every Wednesday from 9-10am at the Central Madison Public Library, 3rd Floor. Free and Open to the Public. No RSVP Needed. www.1millioncups.com/madison
- Culture Community. A passionate group of people who are focused on fostering positive cultures as a focal point of every organization, regardless of the industry, size, or stage of growth. This outgoing group is well connected and friendly! Join them the second Thursday of the month from 9-10:30am at the Madison Club. Free and Open to the Public. Register on the website. www.culture.community
- The Unscripted Post. The Unscripted Post is a private Facebook group, founded by yours truly, that is for local Madison business professionals. As the best of the best in their fields, members of this group can post relevant information about their industry, ask questions, post blogs, and promotions. It’s a great way to get a current feed of upcoming events. We even have our own happy hour every once in awhile, just for some good fun and friendly networking. Request to join the group at www.facebook.com/groups/theunscriptedpost.
- The Dream Bank. With a wide variety of events there is always something going on at the Dream Bank and it’s always free! Developed by American Family Insurance, the The Dream Bank offers small business development talks, family events, crafting, book clubs, learning labs, and fitness classes. There really is something for everyone, but two of my favorites are the Small Business Workshops and Gen Now series. They have offered great presentations on social media management and marketing for your small business that are powerful. Come ready to learn from local experts and socialize with fellow Madisonians looking to make a difference in the Madison business scene! www.dreamfearlessly.com
- High Tech Happy Hour. Free Beer and Food! This is a casual group of professionals that gather together over a drink once a month and enjoy each other’s company, as well as looking for the opportunity to meet new people. This is where we filmed the video! This great opportunity happens the last Thursday of the month from 5-7pm. There are rotating venues, but it is always Free and Open to the Public. Sign in at the door. www.hthh.org
- Women in Tech (Meet Up) – https://www.meetup.com/Madison-Women-in-Tech/
- The Doyenne Group – https://www.doyennegroup.org/
- Chamber of Commerce.
- Downtown Madison, Inc. – http://www.downtownmadison.org/
- Coworking Spaces.
- Sun Prairie Young Professionals, RISE – https://www.facebook.com/SunPrairieYoungProfessionals/
- Social Media Breakfast – http://smbmad.org/
- InBusiness – http://www.ibmadison.com/In-Business-Madison/Events/
- Network After Work – https://www.networkafterwork.com/events/madison
- Meetups – https://www.meetup.com/cities/us/wi/madison/
These are my favorites – what are yours? I am sure I missed some, so please comment and share upcoming events and organizations that have made a difference for you. It’s always easiest to show up to an event if you know a friendly face, so reach out and let’s make a connection so we can meet at one of these groups! My name is Diana Pastrana and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianarpastrana/. Don’t forget to join The Unscripted Post!