One of the best things you can do for yourself professionally is to network. It's the oldest trick in the book, but it still works like a charm when you’re embracing a new career, or looking to advance in the one you’ve got.
Like any other big city, San Diego is brimming with networking events for anyone looking to mingle and learn. If you’re looking for good networking opportunities in San Diego, below are nine recurring networking events to attend once, twice, or as many times your go-getter heart desires.
6 Degrees is a networking group with monthly and quarterly events all over San Diego. Their Breakfast Speaker Series is one of their more popular events, held quarterly, featuring a panel of business professionals from around the community. John Ippolito, a local business consultant in San Diego, has been attending 6 Degrees events for the last 4 years.
"6 Degrees knows how to get people to connect. My professional and social life has multiplied ten fold because of what they do so well."
They also have cigar and spirit tastings, and a Savvy Women's Group that holds monthly mixers for mompreneurs and chic CEOs.
San Diego Startup Week
San Diego Startup Week is organized by StartUP San Diego and occurs once a year. It's a celebration of startups across all industries in the San Diego community. Events include Q&A sessions on seed funding, parties with VC's, and one-on-one speed mentoring. It's one of the larger conferences in San Diego that connects the right people with the right jobs, and the right startups with the right resources.
Network After Work SD
Network After Work is a social networking event company that touts over 500,000 members across the country. They meet up in the evenings at a social spot once a month in a whopping 42 cities across the country, including San Diego. The goal is to relax, network, and chit-chat after a long day at the 9 to 5.
Social Media Marketing World
Held annually in San Diego over three days, this social media marketing event provides a jam packed schedule of track sessions on social strategies, keynotes on achieving social marketing success, and networking lunches. Past keynote speakers at this 2000 member event include Chris Brogan and Brian Clark, and 80+ of the most well-known social gurus in the industry.
Search Love Conference
Search Love is held annually by Distilled, an online marketing agency. It brings together hundreds of digital tastemakers, all looking for actionable takeaways in search marketing. Lynsey Little, head of marketing and events for Distilled, says networking at this conference is especially easy because it’s one track--meaning all attendees see the same sessions at the same time.
“They all break at the same time having just watched the same content, so ice-break conversation (particularly for solo attendees) is easy and natural because they have an instant source of conversation.”
The two-day conference holds networking opportunities galore.
NAWBO Wine & Cheese Networking
The National Association of Women Business Owners is a non-profit organization with 80 chapters across the US. Their San Diego chapter holds a quarterly networking event called Wine & Cheese Networking, where they meet at different venues in San Diego to pour a glass and make connections. These events are free for members and just $20 for non-members.
Touted as the largest tech networking event in San Diego, March Mingle is in its tenth year of bringing together tech lovers and entrepreneurs for a night of mingling and relationship building. It's usually hosted at a local venue every March with finger food, drinks, and a raffle for various prizes. You won't find any keynotes or panels here, just good old fashion networking and tech talk.
San Diego Golf Networking Group
For all you golfers out there networking on the golf course, this is the perfect monthly event for you. Once a month the San Diego Golf Networking Group meets at various golf courses to tee off and talk business. They also offer happy hours and/or breakfasts afterwards too, depending on what time of day they meet up.
CommNexus is a non-profit company serving the technology industry in San Diego. Recurring events include their Marketing Mondays series, where every other Monday they hold a presentation about challenges plaguing the marketing industry, and Wing Wednesdays, where a panel of startup entrepreneurs share their knowledge, with chicken wings catered from a new restaurant every single month. To me, the wings are incentive alone.
Hopefully some of these recurring networking events got your heart pumping. One of the largest cities in California, San Diego is abuzz with opportunity, and any networking event you attend is sure to leave you with a few good lasting connections.