Hoping to find more opportunities for networking in Tuscon? Take time to connect with friendly professionals at one of these networking groups.
Nobody does networking like Tucson.
People in Tucson are friendly and curious and interested in making new connections. If you’re an Arizona native, you may take it for granted that you can strike up a conversation anywhere without a second thought.
But if you’re from out of town, the willingness of Tucson professionals to welcome you into conversations and group events can be a breath of fresh air.
It makes sense, then, that it’s not difficult to find a place to network in Tucson. However, it can still be challenging to find the right place to network. If you’re still looking for a group that has the right mix of mission, industries, and personalities for you, this list of events for networking in Tucson is for you. (Click here to list this list of networking events.)
1. Connections of Tucson
While many networking groups tend to have either a heavily structured routine of referral-passing groups or a free-for-all atmosphere of no-membership mixers, Connections of Tucson aims for a healthy balance of business and pleasure.
The group does limit membership to one member per business category, but without the rigid attendance and lead-tracking requirements that can often be found in networking groups.
Lunch meetings are held at Old Pueblo Grille at 11:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays. Guests are welcome to attend two meetings at a cost of $17 each (lunch included) before deciding on a membership. If you’d like to join and your business category is open, there is a $40 application fee and a $36 monthly membership fee.
2. Networking Entrepreneurs of Tucson
For networkers who want to make the most out of their time, Networking Entrepreneurs of Tucson is the way to go. NET’s slogan is “Where small business meets to do big business,” and the group is set up to ensure that every member has the opportunity to do just that.
Referrals, invited guests, and one-on-one meetings are strongly encouraged, and meetings are designed to help everyone understand the business needs of each group member.
Guests are welcome to visit two NET meetings at no charge before deciding whether to join. If your business category is open, you are welcome to attend the twice-monthly meetings at the Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation. Membership requires a $50 application fee, as well as $65 quarterly chapter dues.
3. Exceptional Entrepreneurs Business Networking Tucson
Exceptional Entrepreneurs is aimed at business professionals who want to take networking seriously without taking all the fun out of it. The group offers low-cost, low-commitment lunch meetings that pack a lot of value into a ninety-minute time slot. Meetings are open to anyone in the Tucson business community who wants to build connections, share value, and get to know some great people.
The original Exceptional Entrepreneurs group is still going strong with lunch meetings at the Speedway Native Grill every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The group has also recently expanded to offer two new meeting locations: a Northwest chapter that meets at the Marana Native Grill for Tuesday lunches, and a Tucson East chapter that meets at the Canyon Crown Restaurant and Pub for Thursday lunches. No matter which meeting you choose to attend, or how often you go, meetings cost just $5 per person.
4. I Love Marketing Tucson
Sometimes, the name says it all. Whether you’re a business owner, a marketer, or an aspiring entrepreneur, the Tucson chapter of I Love Marketing is guaranteed to provide you with plenty of food for thought. Unlike many groups which focus more specifically on sharing referrals and conducting business, this is a mastermind group which loosely follows the curriculum presented in the I Love Marketing podcast.
Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of every month at the downtown CoLab workspace. There is no ongoing membership cost, just a $20 per meeting fee for each attendee. Meetings are open to the public, with the caveat that this is a small group geared toward discussion and idea-sharing, not just passing business cards.
5. National Association of Women Business Owners Tucson
Are you a woman who gets business done? The Tucson chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners may be just the right place for you. NAWBO is a national organization devoted to improving the visibility and accessibility of women-owned businesses, but the local chapter is all that and more. Members of the Tucson chapter gain access to monthly luncheons and networking mixers, as well as various social opportunities.
NAWBO membership is available at a number of levels, from student memberships at $250 per year to established business owner memberships at $325 per year to executive women’s roundtable memberships at $1275 per year.
6. Tucson Young Professionals
Many cities have young professional networking groups that offer a chance to meet other business people under 40, but they’re not more than that. Tucson Young Professionals is different. In addition to several networking opportunities each month, including a CEO Roundtable, philanthropic events, and members-only networking, the group is also dedicated to shaping Tucson’s future.
Membership in TYP is open to Tucson professionals between the ages of 21 and 40, and anyone looking to make a difference in their community is encouraged to join. The annual membership cost is $150. Members receive free admission to monthly CEO roundtables, discounts on admission to various local cultural and sporting events, and more.
7. S.E.V.E.N. Networking in Southern Arizona
S.E.V.E.N. Networking was born in Arizona, the brainchild of a New York transplant who wanted to develop a friendly, inclusive networking group in order to help her business grow. The Tucson chapter is one of more than 40 S.E.V.E.N. groups meeting nationwide. Weekly meetings offer plenty of opportunities to get to know one another, and the inclusive format means that all business professionals are welcome, regardless of industry.
The Tucson chapter of S.E.V.E.N. Networking meets every Monday at 9:00 a.m. at The Good Egg. Guests can attend two individual meetings for $5 each before deciding to join the group. Membership costs $20 per month plus a $20 application fee, and includes a free listing on the S.E.V.E.N. Networking website in addition to covering the weekly meeting cost for any meeting location you choose. If you’re on the southern outskirts, S.E.V.E.N. also offers a Green Valley chapter that meets at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday mornings.
Shelby Blanchard Stogner is a freelance copywriter and blogger who helps businesses get the word out about the great work they’re doing. Visit her on the web at www.sbscopywriting.com.