No matter what your interests or professional goals, you’ll find a Denver networking event to match.
Colorado’s thriving economy — which has outpaced all 2014 economic expectations so far — makes for a great place to work and live. Last year in Denver, the city saw records in employment growth, housing, commercial real estate and the stock market. Economists predict 2014 will prove to be as strong or stronger.
Yet with nearly 100 networking groups listed on the NetworkingDenver.net, it can be difficult to know which are worth your time and fit your interests. To help narrow the pool we’ve researched the most active and relevant networking groups in Denver.
Check them out, find your tribe and take advantage of Denver’s positive growth to help your career.
1. Creative Mornings Denver: For the creative professional
Creative Mornings is a global community of creatives. In different cities across the world, groups meet for a monthly breakfast lecture concentrated on the same theme. Previous themes include failure, freedom and bravery.
Each month, the event is held at a different event space that provides breakfast and coffee. But more importantly, the room is filled with other creatives pursuing their dreams. After the lecture, stick around and learn what your fellow Denver creatives are up to.
2. The Alternative Business Networking Group: For the lunchtime networker
This group advises, “If you are only looking for an opportunity to push your business on others, this is not the group for you.”
This upfront declaration has kept this group going strong since 2010 with bi-monthly lunch meetings on Tuesdays. The meetups are free to attend, with only the cost of your lunch and the promise to give as much as you want to receive.
3. CETRUS Professional Network: For the networking pro
Another active group with at least ten events per month, the CETRUS network is serious about networking. Ten team members run the organization like a well-oiled machine. Members get in free, with annual memberships ranging from $350-997.
Non-members pay a per-event fee, typically between $12-18 dollars for daytime events and $15-20 for evening events. Discounted tickets are available online before to each event.
4. Denver Network After Work: For the happy hour networker
Denver After Work is part of a 500,000-member strong national network that meets at the hottest nightlife spots in cities across the country.
In Denver, that means meeting up at Fado Irish Pub, Epernay Lounge and The Tavern. The events are casual and draw a mix of professionals from various industries and levels. Typically 100+ Denver locals attend, so pre-sale tickets can sell out depending on how much space the venue has.
5. Denver Single Professionals: For the single networker
This group seeks young professionals who want to mix and mingle with other singles and vow to never pitch other members at the events. Meetups include wine tastings, ski trips and other social outings.
6. Rainmaker’s Elite Networking Group: For the fun-loving networker
Rainmaker works to create events that are high-energy by featuring local celebrities, entertainment and charities. All gatherings are during happy hour at popular bars and restaurants.
7. Denver Philanthropy Without Borders: For the altruistic networker
This group just re-launched in July 2014 with a renewed commitment to fulfilling their mission “to be the catalyst that helps create action towards the greater global good.”
They host monthly meetups and in the past have partnered with Regis University and Denver Business Journal to provide educational events with their mission in mind.
Denver networking events for entrepreneurs
Denverites have several choices for networking groups especially geared towards entrepreneurs. Try them all to see which best fit for your business and goals.
8. Denver Founders Network
For the networker who wants to learn from the successes of others, these monthly gathering happens on the last Wednesday of each month. Each event features a Q&A with a successful founder, plus plenty of time for open interacting.
9. Experience Pros Network
This group, co-hosted by radio hosts and authors Angel Tuccy and Eric Reamer, is all about increasing your brand’s visibility and sharing best marketing practices. This is an active group, with 24 events in one month alone and at least 10 even during “slow” months.
10. The Networking Jumpstart
This group is ideal for pitch-perfect business owners who want to practice their elevator pitch in a speed networking format. Each gathering is limited to 10 businesses, and one owner gets to share their business with the other nine entrepreneurs in a one-on-one setting.
It’s also one of the newest networking groups in Denver, recently launching in July 2014.
11. Denver Connectors: For those seeking guidance about business best practices
Sponsored by Take the Lead, this group focuses on helping members build their local network through referrals.
Events aim to help members learn, with recent topics including “Creative Confidence: Steps for Success,” “Are You Chasing Customers Away, and You Don’t Even Know It?” and “What You Do Not Know About Your Taxes That Can Improve or Destroy Your Business.”
12. Built in Colorado: For the startup networker
Built in Colorado is more than networking; it’s the hub of startup activity in Colorado. If you want to tap into the local startup scene, learn about startup events and find out about open startup jobs, this is the group for you.
With an active Facebook page and blog, Built in Colorado will help any startup no matter where they are in their journey.
Shawndra Russell is a writer and social media educator for businesses, professionals and college students with the intent of stopping outdated me! me! me! marketing. Her latest works are 51 Ways to Help Your Social Media Manager Crush It! and How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days. Read about her services and projects at shawndrarussell.com and connect with her on Twitter and Google+.