Professional Networking Events vs. Groups

4br professional networking events vs groups blog

Professional networking events come in all shapes and sizes. A quick google search can show you networking events and groups in your area, but choosing which one is right for you may not be quite so easy. There are many factors to consider when determining which networking avenue will best match your professional needs and expectations. One of those decisions is the choice between a networking event and a networking group. 

As business professionals, we know that there’s nothing better to solve a problem than a handy list. Let’s break down the pros and cons between professional networking events and networking groups. We’ll take a look at what benefits you could expect from both, and what networkers might be well-suited for each type.

Professional Networking Events

Pros: 

  • Learn from industry experts in your field
  • Meet a variety of professionals both in and outside of your industry
  • Often open to the public or cost a small entry fee
  • Can be small, local events or large, popular conferences

Cons: 

  • A rotating cast of fellow networkers
  • More limited opportunities for individual communication 

Networking events are often open to the public or cost a small entry fee. They may feature a speaker from a specific industry, a space to workshop a skillset, or provide a venue for networking amongst the other attendees. These events are great for getting connected to the local networking community in your area and can be excellent opportunities to learn new skills or enhance your professional knowledge. 

Professional Networking Groups

Pros:

  • Build lasting professional connections with local individuals
  • Provide a reliable and regular networking opportunity
  • Focus on professional development
  • Build your business with stronger referral connections
  • Meet professionals outside of your industry

Cons:

  • Often include a group membership which can be a higher up-front cost 
  • May not offer industry-specific trainings or speakers

Networking groups are regular opportunities to connect, learn, and support with other local professionals in your area. Typically, these groups place a heavy focus on professional development, building a referral network, and group connection. Often, these groups have a group membership fee. A networking group is a good fit for business professionals looking for regular, focused networking opportunities who are comfortable paying a membership fee.

The Best of Both Worlds

While we’ve been breaking down the difference between these two professional networking options, there’s a choice we haven’t mentioned yet. Why not take the best of both worlds and rely on both opportunities for networking and development. A professional networking group can provide you with regular opportunities to connect with other business-people in your area. And professional networking events like monthly Meetup groups and conferences can give you an opportunity to meet with professionals within your industry and brush up on your business skills.

So which networking option is right for you? Well, we can’t tell you that. Only you can decide what type of networking opportunity will best support your professional development, local network building, and business goals. We can tell you what you could expect as a 4BR networking group member!