CONTENT BY LIDIA VIJGA, CO-FOUNDER OF BRIEFBID. PHOTO CREDIT: TJ DRAGOTTA
Today, networking as we once knew it is on hold: no industry events, no conferences, no summits. For many of us, making new in-person connections has become an integral part of both personal and professional growth. We quickly adapted to connecting remotely with people we already know — from online meetings with colleagues and clients, to virtual house parties with our friends. But where can we now meet like-minded people for the first time, grow our professional networks, and build meaningful relationships outside of our immediate social circles?
Meet a fellow founder every week with GrowthClub
For entrepreneurs looking to connect with their peers, GrowthClub is a new platform where founders learn, share knowledge, and support each other throughout their entrepreneurial journeys. After you join GrowthClub, each week, you set a short-term goal and get matched with another founder for a peer to peer online coaching session. Founders commit to taking a specific action towards their goal at the end of each coaching session, and then keep each other accountable as they work towards their goals. The platform helps you stay on track by providing an agenda, as well as a framework that helps founders become coaches.
Make a new connection every 3 minutes with TechTO speed-networking
Some industry-specific events and meetups quickly transitioned online, and now offer speed networking opportunities to attendees. TechTO, a Toronto-based tech community, organizes interactive online events every day during lunch hour. Each session is organized around a specific category (FinTech, Product, Marketing, Fundraising, Innovation and Healthcare & Technology), and TechTO invites special guests to explore an emerging topic or industry. After the panel, everyone gets an opportunity to participate in speed networking. Attendees and speakers that want to participate get connected to a video call with a different participant at random. Each video call lasts for 3 minutes, at which point you’re connected with a new participant. Every session gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself, briefly talk about your current projects, and most importantly find ways to help each other out. When time is up, you can continue the conversation over in-built chat, or connect over LinkedIn. During the month of May, TechTo offers free memberships for 30 days with this referral link.
Attend virtual industry meetups
There is one clear benefit of lockdown: remote meetups mean that you can now attend online industry events in any city, and build a global network without ever stepping a foot outside of your home. To discover new events in your industry, you can try Hopin, or browse through the online events listed on Eventbrite. Since the latter has seen a 683% spike in traffic to its Online Events pages, you can rest assured that you will expand your network with many new connections in your field.
Join rapidly growing Slack chat groups
Professionals across different industries are coming together to form Slack communities focused on various topics. Aside from learning and getting valuable industry insights, Slack groups also provide a great way to meet like-minded people in almost any field. To help you find relevant groups faster, the team at Standuply put together a list of 2000 Slack chat groups where you can discover new communities according to your specific industry or region.
Give what you seek
The irony of our current isolation is that it actually allows us the opportunity to become closer to each other and reconnect with those who we haven’t spoken to in a while. You can find out what your peers and contacts are working on and offer to lend a hand or make a helpful introduction. It may also be helpful to join communities where you can offer advice to people outside of your social circle.
If you know of any other networking opportunities or if you are working on similar initiatives, please reach out to us directly, we would love to feature you in our future articles!