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2013 Top venues for savvy women in business to network in Maryland

Make 2013 the year you diversify your business network and reap the benefits

Everybody talks about networking, and everyone knows you should do it. However, did you ever notice that often you find yourself running into the same and usual suspects every where you go? As fun as it can be to catch up to to your friends and colleagues with whom you’re well acquainted, we feel in 2013 the savvy women in business are going to diversify their business networks, and we have some suggestions to help you do that.

However, before  we suggest our top picks to help you make sure you are not always meeting up with the usual suspects in the year ahead might we suggest a couple of  recommended networking resources to help you brush up on your networking savvy and etiquette.

7 tips for Networking (courtesy of Entrepreneur magazines)

Online Networking 101 (courtesy of Storesigns.com)

OK, now that we’ve refreshed on the networking basics let’s get to our top picks where women in business, female entrepreneurs and women in leadership in Maryland can diversify their business networks in 2013.

MyCity4Her’s top “new” venues for savvy women to grow their contacts in Maryland include:

Baltimore Means Business

Baltimore Means Business is founded by Christine Richardson, the President of Q. Marketing. Baltimore Means Business is a member supported, non-profit, Baltimore City based organization that provides support, education and assistance in promotion and growth of small to medium sized businesses. The organization works in coordination with local communities to maintain a healthy business climate. Baltimore Means Business strives to foster business while continually donating time and money to local philanthropic and charitable organizations.  We like it because:

  • They regularly host a variety of events from breakfasts, to brown bag lunches to after work get togethers
  • The organisation is focused on stimulating business in the Baltimore City area
  • Baltimore Means Business has a warm and welcoming environment

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Unless you live under a rock – surely you know that affluent hispanics are one of the most sought after demographics for marketers these days. There’s a reason for that and savvy women in business should be paying attention.

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is one of the best places to network these days for a variety of reasons:

  • Leadership is comprised of influential business leaders
  • Great cost to value ratio
  • Enormous diversity in terms of types and sizes of businesses involved
  • Events all over the Greater Baltimore region

In full disclosure – our founder and CCO Monyka Berrocosa is a board member.

TECH Breakfasts

Tech Breakfasts are actually a “Meetup” group versus an organisation you join, or become a member of. However these hugely successful events headed up by Ronald Schmelzer (Founder and COE of Bizelo) started these just over two years ago and they are nothing short of a phenomenon. Women in business who skirt the fringe of tech, or work in it have been aware of this venue for a while…and with good reason:

  • Tech Breakfasts are FREE and provide tremendous value despite that
  • Tech Breakfasts draw literally dozens of people and not always the same people so they are a great place to make new contacts
  • Tech Breakfasts allow the opportunity for people interested in technology a little or a lot to connect with like minded individuals

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE BREAKFASTS

social enterprise breakfast photoOk, so our one issue with the Baltimore Social Enterprise breakfasts is that they are not easily found online, or that simple to connect with. This being said – if you manage to get invited to one – we suggest you act upon it. The Social Enterprise Breakfasts are the work of Rodney Foxworthy.

A smart, successful guy who decided to surround himself with more like minded, smart, successful and visionary people interested in the power of social enterprise.  At the Social Enterprise breakfast things were kept on track and on time…which is nice and appreciated. We particularly enjoyed the part where they had a “Sage” (experienced business person) and a “Newcomer” (someone new to the area) share…

We attended one of their events in January at the beautiful Gansler offices, invited by Scott Burkholder of the Baltimore Love Project and we are forever grateful as this venue offers a lot including:

  • It’s free – Heads up FREE doesn’t mean bad
  • Has a great mix of socially minded, socially conscious and successful folks in attendance
  • Is refreshingly positive, interested in making Baltimore better and helping folks connect who wish to do that as well

In Annapolis – we particularly love…

Link Annapolis

Link Annapolis was launched in 2010 and founder Jeff Cochran, Jeff Cochran, President of Exclamation Communications! Inc. when in 2009 due to the economic downturn, Jeff noticed a need for people to connect meaningfully locally.

Link Annapolis has dozens of people attending its events and is so popular it has spun off a chapter in Columbia, Maryland – Link Columbia, we have to wonder, is Baltimore next?

We like Link Annapolis because:

  • It’s fresh – no seriously – no stale, boring networking happening there
  • The founders are successful business people truly interested in helping others be successful as well
  • The events are highly attended and affordable and rotate venues which keeps them interesting

 

We also recommend if you have not checked out…

CREW Baltimore 

Women in BIO Baltimore

Baltimore Women in Business 

Breakfast Boost (our own contribution to the network diversification mix)

Hopefully you’re going to try some of these new venues out. We encourage you to venture outside the “usual suspects” you just might like it. This being said – if you’re in the Greater Baltimore area – we’d love to have you visit our own networking event – coming up on March 27, 2013 at our offices in Towson. For more information and/or to register – click here.

 

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