Networking Events You Can’t Miss This Fall

Make new contacts at these events featuring the likes of Jessica Alba, Buzz Bissinger and Tracy Davidson.

(g-stockstudio/Shutterstock)

(g-stockstudio/Shutterstock)

Being strategic with your networking involves attending the right events. You should consider who will be attending and whether that demographic moves you closer to building relationships with your target market or client — or just represents another night of getting dressed up and drinking with strangers.

Remember, your next networking event is not about closing a sale, it’s an opportunity to open a dialogue. Plan your event schedule accordingly and be sure to mix it up to make new connections outside your own circles.

To help make this process easier on you in the coming months, here are my top picks for the fall season:

1. Women’s Events: I run a monthly entrepreneur book club and a recent selection was Stiletto Network by Pamela Ryckman. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it. In this book, Ryckman states: “For the first time in history, women are seeing a monetary return on time invested with girlfriends.” A must-attend event this fall is the Pennsylvania Conference for Women. Taking place this year on November 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, it features a full day of networking, speakers and seminars. Some of the keynote speakers this year include Jessica Alba, Gloria Steinem and Carli Lloyd. You can register and find out more information here.

Bonus event: Be sure to attend Women on The Move on October 22, 2015 at Drexelbrook. Featured speakers this year are Tracy Davidson and Dr. Marisa C. Weiss. You can register and find out more information here.

2. Millennials/Young Professional Events: It’s important to get in the networking mindset at the start of your career. Many opportunities will come to you through networking whether it be for your career, leadership development or simply expanding your circle of friends. Organizations are recognizing the value of cultivating young professionals as the next generation of leadership. There are some great groups out there. Here are three:

  • The Lemon Society: The young professionals arm of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. You can find out about their upcoming events and opportunities here. My favorite event is The Lemon Society Speakeasy which occurs in the Spring. Think mixologists and themed attire.
  • Young Proprietors Committee: This is the under 35 group of Center City Proprietor’s Association that helps connect young business owners and professionals around Philly. You can find out more here.
  • YBConnected: Providing opportunities for young professionals to build relationships. They have several large events each year and there is always a non-profit tie-in. You can learn more here.

3. Events that Open your Mind

Thinkfest. This is a one day event about the future of Philadelphia. I’m so excited to finally have the date free and be able to attend this year. Some of this year’s speakers include Mayor Michael Nutter, Buzz Bissinger, and Todd Carmichael. This year, the event will take place on November 6 at Drexel University/LeBow College of Business. For more information and to purchase a ticket click here.

Bonus event: Be on the lookout for the announcement of tickets for the Spring 2016 TED X Philadelphia event.

4. Charitable/Non-Profit events: Attending non-profit events are a great way to broaden your network. They generally bring together people that are passionate about the same causes whether it be finding a cure for cancer, promoting animal rescue or preserving the environment. It will make conversation easier when you know those in the room share the same passion that you do. There is no shortage of wonderful non-profits in our area and events to attend this fall to support them. The bottom line is to find your tribe and attend those that are personally meaningful to you.

Another bonus: Some find these types of events are a much easier and less stressful way to network than your typical business card exchange. No one is trying to close a deal!

Jennifer Lynn Robinson, is the CEO of Purposeful Networking. She conducts keynotes, workshops and seminars assisting companies, non-profits, groups and conferences to help ensure your networking is working for you. You can connect with her at on Twitter, at purposefulnetworking.com or Jennifer@purposefulnetworking.com