In the early days of Roundpeg, Lorraine was an active networker, often dropping by 2 – 3 events a week. Offer her some lukewarm coffee, stale danish, and a chance for a lively conversation and she was there. Getting out into the community was how she built the business. And now, after almost twenty years of networking she still has her favorite Indianapolis networking events, and so do other members of the Roundpeg crew.
So if you are out and about, here are a few events where you can usually find someone from Team ‘Peg.
Networking After Work (NAW) Some networking events can get a little stuffy, which is why I really like Networking After Work. This rotating event sets up shop in a different brewery around Indy each month and opens the floor up for conversation. No presentations, no dress code, heck they usually even comp you a beer! I really enjoy the conversations and people I meet at NAW because it brings in such a wide range of people across a bunch of industries. Every name tag is even color-coded to your industry, so you can kind of scan the crowd and look for people in industries or with businesses you are most interested in.
NOWIB (Networking Women in Business) is a networking group for women who want to advance in their careers and meet like-minded women who work in all types of industries. I started to attend NOWIB breakfast meetings in late 2019 in the Carmel area. I really enjoyed the ability to meet women of all ages who I could build professional relationships and friendships with. When attending, everyone around the table gets to do their “elevator pitch” as well as pass out business cards. A good number of women attend, but you still feel like you get the opportunity to speak and boast about your passions. A focus featured speaker has 10 minutes to dive deeper into their product/service and any member can sign up to be the focus speaker. I highly recommend NOWIB if you are new to networking and want to work on building your personal brand. See you there!
Sparks is the perfect networking event for introverts. If you’re anything like me, networking can be challenging. Each month business owners, business development people, and fans of TED talks meet at Sparks. Every month there’s a different topic that speakers present on, which is what I love most. Rather than having to talk for a full two hours, the time is split up by these TED talk-style presentations. Once each presentation is finished, we all go back to networking. The goal is to bring people that inspire and motivate innovative thinking. These speakers also often inspire personal and professional growth. I’ve definitely found a networking event that I’m comfortable attending each month. There are always new faces but there are also familiar ones that I can catch up with. This networking event is perfect for those that struggle with networking!
Caffeinated Conversations sponsored by OneZone – There’s coffee, there’s conversations, what’s not to love? These intimate, members-only events (typically 40 – 60 attendees) bring businesses together to learn about their community. The program is a mixture of open networking and presentations about things going on in the Carmel and Fishers, Indiana business community. One of the other things I love is the cool spaces selected as venues for the event such as the Carmel Center for the Performing Arts. If you are a member of OneZone, this is one event you should check out.
1 Million Cups: Indianapolis (1MC) – If you’re an early riser with a hankering for coffee and conversation, join me at 1MC! One warning though- the passion exuding from this FREE meetup is contagious! On the last Wednesday of the month, entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and experience levels gather at the SpeakEasy to see two entrepreneurs pitch their new (3 or less years old) businesses. Once their 6 minutes presentation is completed, the crowd asks, “What can our community do to help you?” and the floor is open for questions and suggestions from us spectators. Even though the presenters’ needs don’t always fit my digital expertise, I still enjoy listening to advice from experts in various fields I encounter less often. If you ever decided to drop by, be sure to say hi!
ECISMG (East Central Indiana Social Media Group) hosts a meetup every third Thursday at the Innovation Connector in Muncie. This free event is always buzzing with energy, but it’s not only over the excitement for the free coffee and breakfast provided by that month’s local sponsor. The energy comes from the community that fills the space. ECISMG is a group of passionate volunteers made up of social media professionals that genuinely want to help local businesses and non-profits. The presentation part of the meetup is sandwiched between free ranging chunks of networking and are always engaging, informative, and interactive. So, if you’re looking to expand on your social media practice and network with local business owners and other marketing professionals, this is a great way to start a Thursday morning.
Lagers & Leaders – I don’t get out much, but there are lots of places around the city that I would love to pay a visit to. That’s why Lagers & Leaders is so nice: they’re hosted at those same awesome, beer-centric venues that I’m itching to visit but lack the motivation. But it’s not just the location, it’s the whole experience. The Indy Chamber always does a knockout job of finding speakers worth their salt, and the space is always used efficiently to host a variety of local companies to chat with in the time before the presentations.
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