Has this been a tough winter, or is it just me? As we approach the spring equinox and the days grow warmer and longer, we get itchy to get out more. For businesses, spring is one of the busiest times for networking events. Our mission at Insight is “Connecting Business and People in the New North.” We take this to heart.
We frequently field calls and e-mails from our readers asking for advice on networking. They want to maximize their time by selecting the events where they can learn something valuable for their business and meet influential businesspeople in our region.
Here is a sampling of what we tell them:
- We highly recommend the St. Norbert CEO Breakfast & Strategy Series. These are held alternately at St. Norbert’s F.K. Bemis International Conference Center in De Pere and Riverview Country Club in Appleton. The next one is March 24 at Riverview, when Boldt Company President and Chief Operating Officer Bob DeKoch will discuss “Leadership in the ‘New Economy’ – Striving to Make a Difference, with Care.” The takeaway messages are always valuable, the networking top-notch, the breakfasts outstanding. Insight is a sponsor of the series. A link to the schedule: snc.edu/president/ceobreakfast.html.
- We try to hit many of the chamber events in the region, especially those of the Northeast Wisconsin Chamber Coalition members (Fox Cities, Greater Green Bay, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac), but also the Door County Economic Development Corp. meeting and Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Waupaca events.
- The Green Bay Chamber Expo is March 2 this year; Fox Cities hosts its expo in September and Oshkosh in late January. These are good for companies looking to share information about their businesses with each other.
- Young professionals organizations are super groups for the young (under 40) and young-at-heart. Heavy on the socializing but also good for leadership advice, in the Fox Cities it’s the Pulse; in Green Bay, it’s Current, in Fond du Lac it’s YPF, in Oshkosh, Propel ; and in Manitowoc, Sail.
- Looking for no-commitment networking at a convenient time? T.H.R.I.V.E. groups meet weekly for lunch in Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh. THRIVE stands for Together Helping Restaurants Improve Valuable Exposure; the point is to familiarize businesspeople with eateries in their area while offering a chance to network. The Appleton group meets on Mondays, Oshkosh meets on Wednesdays; Fond du Lac on Thursdays and Green Bay on Fridays. Invitations allow you to see who else will be attending; go to: www.thrivelunch.com.
- Downtown advocacy groups, such as Appleton Inc. (ADI) and On Broadway in Green Bay, foster a feeling of grass-roots networking among businesses neighbors. Coming up: ADI hosts its annual meeting March 22.
- InDevelopment. This annual event is geared for commercial real estate and economic development professionals, hosted by Insight Publications. About 250 people turned out for our January event at the KI Center in Green Bay.
- The New North Summit. This is a big deal for those who want to stay abreast of initiatives to boost the Northeast Wisconsin economy. About 800 typically attend the December event. Hundreds of businesspeople volunteer their time on several committees for New North, Inc. – it’s a wonderful way to get to know businesspeople from throughout the region. Insight produces the New North annual and mid-year reports.
- The Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center hosts events for entrepreneurs throughout the year, offering great networking: www.venturecenterwi.net.
This list is just a start. Every week, our news editor and social media maven, MaryBeth Matzek, writes a blog about the best upcoming events. Find it on our website, or head straight to: blog.insightonbusiness.com. You can also follow Insight on Twitter – Matzek and others on our team often tweet about (and from!) events. Follow: “Insightpubs.” Watch out – we may be following you!