5 Top Places to Network in Chattanooga
Want to know the top places to network in Chattanooga? If your business growth is contingent on networking, you’ve learned your success really does come from who you know. We want to save you time searching for where to meet the business movers and shakers of Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Functions
I’ve highlighted chamber events I’ve found beneficial for a quick “hello, my name is…” networking experience. The great thing is you don’t have to become a member of the chamber to visit any of the chamber meetings. The cost per meeting may vary and you can visit as many times as you like.
There are varying levels of membership and the membership costs also vary based on the number of your employees. Here are the most attended chamber events:
This event is held on the first Wednesday of every month. There will typically be around 100 business people that attend. It’s held inside a local business too, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about different businesses in town.
Business After Hours
This is another event that’s held once a month and brings in around 100 different business people. It’s also held in a local business.
Mayor’s Business Breakfast
Once a year, the Mayor holds a special breakfast. It’s typically held at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Lots of business leaders from a variety of companies around town will be in attendance.
You can view the full list of events at: https://www.chattanoogachamber.com/events
BNI (Business Networking International)
There are several chapters in the Chattanooga area that meet on different days, times, and locations around the city. All of the chapters have between 15 and 40 members. Take your time getting to know who is in each chapter before committing to join. Join the chapter with members that will compliment your business with referrals.
The chapter memberships are annual. As a member, you’ll commit to attending a meeting every week. BNI only allows one person to join in each business industry/classification. You won’t have any competition within your chapter. Visit any chapter twice before you decide to join.
You can view the local chapters and members here: http://www.bnitn.com
Lean In WomenGroundbreakers
This group is an ongoing source of nationally recognized, cutting-edge programs and resources for diversity, inclusion, and support of women. Chattanooga’s Lean In WomenGroundBreakers think tank works to inspire, connect, and inform. I am very honored to have recently accepted the role to lead this amazing group of women. These meetings are intended to have meaning-filled conversations, where attendees can walk away with immediate action steps related to the various topics covered at each meeting.
National leaders are featured at each meeting who work with Sheryl Sandberg our Founder and Board Chair for Lean In. Sheryl previously worked at Google and now works at Facebook as C00 and is a member of the board of directors.
Make sure you attend and soak up the experience from the women that have influenced this group as well as my own experiences as a local business owner, public speaker, and advocate for women and entrepreneurs. We have over a thousand participants in our private Facebook group. Participation develops forward momentum with practical action steps. There are no annual dues. Sponsorships are available.
Find out more at: http://womengroundbreakers.com
Women Mean Business
If you are a woman in business, then you should definitely check out this group of amazing ladies. Their experience spans a variety of different industries.
There are no annual dues. If you commit to attend the monthly meeting you’re also committing to pay for your lunch. There are sponsorship opportunities.
There are typically between 20 and 60 attendees at each monthly meeting. Each meeting includes:
- Open networking time to mingle and introduce yourself.
- Guided conversations at each table to help you learn more about the women around you.
- A catered lunch.
- A featured speaker that helps you learns more about growing your business and yourself.
You can find out the next meeting day by going to: http://wmbcha.com
This group is dedicated to connecting the regional technology community. They work to help invest in the technology talent in the area, promote Chattanooga as a center for technology, and grow the regional economy.
They hold several meetings throughout the month on a variety of topics. You’ll meet the technology innovators in town as well as stay up to date with the latest tech developments.
The membership is for the business entity. The rates vary on the number of employees. There are sponsorship opportunities.
Check out their list of upcoming events at: https://chatechcouncil.org
The real secret to face-to-face networking is going where your business or personal interests are met. Think about who your ideal client is and ask yourself if your ideal client or strategic connection might attend one of these meetings after visiting one of these associations. There are lots more groups, gatherings, meetups, and associations in Chattanooga. We’ll be sharing interest niches and how to find these events or associations in future blog posts.