Theres a thriving community representing virtually every group and sub-culture in London. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have their choice of any number of great networking events, each and every week of each and every month. From pitch and demo nights, to wine and cheese, theres something for everyone. Formal. Laid back. Take your pick...
The Clubhouse hosts a full calendar of events, including seminars, workshops, and networking events. Done in partnership with professional and innovative event planners, the get-togethers are always very highly rated amongst entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Club Workspace offers several tiers of membership - ranging from £200-350 - that gives you access to their shared work spaces scattered throughout London. In addition to their frequent events, they also have a mailing list, the subscription of which is done through their website, that keeps you in the loop.
This group - nearly 12000 members strong - represents entrepreneurs at every stage of the process: ideation, fundraising, launch, and growing. Get together with others in the exact same boat as you. There events typically attract anywhere from 100-200 people, making it a wonderful networking opportunity. Entrepreneurs in London claims to be not only the largest such group in London, but all of Europe! Their events include workshops, seminars, and networking evenings and outings. Patrick Powers, the founder, even provides his personal mobile number so any member can get a hold of him at any time. Join through their meetup.com page.
4Networking bills itself as The UKs Only Joined-Up Business Network. Sign up for a free online membership to check out the community and see if its for you. The free account allows you to network online and use the 4N forums (multiple threads and topics). The paid memberships (200 day membership, or monthly, or yearly) get you access to all 4N Groups. Each group hosts meetings of various types and at various times (breakfast, lunch, evenings) for networking and launching purposes.
4Networking hosts The Business Networking Show (the UKs largest) with a full itinerary of speakers and events over the course of the day (the 2014 show is scheduled for Friday 19 September).
Meetup is an online directory of hundreds - thousands - of networking and social groups in many different countries. Search by city, set a within [blank] miles, and instantly find groups and events nearby.
A quick search for London revealed the Young Professionals in London - with over 10,000 members in their 20s and 30s (their social and networking events happen in Central London on a fairly regular basis) - and the Creative Startups and Entrepreneurs Meetup Group, a group of nearly 3500 individuals involved in the creative arts (culinary, design, fashion, or performance) and looking to launch it into a business (the host monthly events).
Find a group, sign up for membership, and receive updates and reminders for all upcoming events. Easy.
There are plenty of options. 5 London Startup Events to Build Your Network lists five popular events and groups. A Google search will reveal dozens more. No matter which group or event you choose, networking and meeting others is always a sound investment and excellent use of your time. Entrepreneurs have always been a tight knit community, and for good reason. Its not easy, and having a strong support network of people who understand that (and can help each other) is invaluable. Take the time to find a group that fits your needs (and budget)...you wont be sorry.
Photo by Mark Towning
Creative Commons License