17 Networking Events (And Tips) To Mark On Your Calendar For 2015

What was your best networking experience in 2014 so far (and why)?


The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


1. Startup Grind

Startup Grind has been one of the best events that I’ve attended in 2014. I’ve been able to meet other entrepreneurs like myself and help them and their businesses. At one event in my local area, I was able to meet a client that signed a 24-month contract worth more than $200K. Amazing people are coming to these events and it’s a great place to network with like-minded individuals.”

– John RamptonHost


Gideon-Kimbrell2. The Miami FundingPost Event

“I attended this event in March, where entrepreneurs can get connected with investors and VCs. I’ve attended many before, but this was the first one held in Miami. It turned out to be a huge success because I was able to demonstrate social proof and drop names that local investors recognized and respected.”

– Gideon KimbrellInList Inc


3. The 2014 World Economic Forum in Nigeria

“I got to meet world leaders, C-suite executives from the world’s most influential companies such as Visa, Goldman Sachs, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, along with presidents, heads of state and world-renowned thought leaders. The platform created a foundation of credibility, and we bonded immediately and welcomed one another with open arms.”

– Mina ChangLinking the World


4. Plane Networking

“I am a big, big advocate for “plane networking.” Whenever I’m flying solo, I try to engage whoever is sitting next to me in conversation — find out who they are, what they do, etc. This year, I managed to speak with someone who was working for ESPN and sparked up a pretty great conversation with him. I later reached out to him for a specific project and he remembered me.”

Rob FultonExponential Black


5. Co-Working Spaces

“ZinePak’s HQ is in a WeWork building in New York. The co-working environment means we’re constantly being introduced to innovative, new companies doing fun and interesting things. I recommend that all startups get an office in a co-working space for networking, even if they have their own dedicated space elsewhere. It’s a great, low-pressure way to meet awesome, new people.”

Brittany HodakZinePak


6. Collision Conference in Las Vegas

“The Collision Conference is an invite-only event for co-founders and CEOs that was held in downtown Las Vegas earlier this year. First of all, anything that’s invite-only will have better networking than most public events. And secondly, while a conference in Vegas outside of the strip may sound silly, it caused far more “collisions” with other attendees and much better networking.”

Ryan BuckleyScripted, Inc.


7. APRU Research Symposium on Aging at USC Davis

“This event gave me an opportunity to talk to people outside of my age group and come up with a universal discussion topic that put us all on the same page.”

– Kevin XuMebo International


8. MastermindTalks

“Jayson Gaignard and his team do a stellar job creating an experience for guests of MastermindTalks. Here’s one example: In a survey guests had to do before attending, he asked about products and foods you can’t live without and then he delivered these as gifts at people’s tables. One guy at my table got a big jar of mayonnaise, and another woman got her favorite organic chocolate bar.”

– Natalie MacNeilShe Takes on the World


9. Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition

“For those working in the e-commerce space, there is no better networking event than the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition.”

– Josh WeissBluegala


10. Maverick1000 Group with Yanik Silver

“The Mavericks is an amazing group of entrepreneurs doing $1 million in revenue or more. It’s built around epic adventures so we grow bonds with other members much faster than through the normal, boring business gatherings at hotels or convention centers. I can network consistently with like-minded business owners who are looking to walk the “improve the world” path that I’m also walking down.”

– Joshua LeeStandOut Authority


11. UP America Summit in Kansas City

“UP Global was founded a few years ago when Startup Weekend and Startup America came together. In October, over 100 startupleaders from communities across the U.S. met in Kansas City for the UP America Summit. The networking was not about our respective businesses, but rather about our communities. Tons of lessons were shared and relationships built, which will impact startups around the country.”

– Aaron SchwartzModify Watches


12. Topic-Specific Summits

“The best networking I have done has been attending topic-specific summits. I feel that I got a chance to network with individuals in a similar industry, but at different growth stages of their business, allowing me to gain insight into future challenges and opportunities.”

– Samira FarBellacures Franchising LLC


13. Big Omaha Conference

“Big Omaha is hands down the best conference for startups, founders and business owners. It’s a rare conference that offers no pretense or ego. Everyone from the speakers to attendees are treated with the same respect. Attendees are more prone to ask how they can help you or your company instead of making it all about them.”

– Antonio NevesTHINQACTION


14. Entrepreneurial MasterMind Retreats

“This year, I started hosting Heroic Escape retreats in Costa Rica and Thailand with several of my students and entrepreneurial friends — eating healthy, practicing yoga, doing adventure sports, touring around, partying and “MasterMinding.” We bonded while pushing ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually and it improved our businesses and resulted in some of the strongest new friendships I’ve had in years.”

– Cody McKibbenThrilling Heroics


15. Partnering for Cures

“Partnering for Cures is a conference for people in various roles in the health space (doctors, government, companies, foundations, etc.) who want to move fast and find cures as quickly as possible. It really helps cut through red tape, and everyone there is very motivated.”

– Jessica RichmanUBiome


16. Cigars & Startups

“It’s a local event in Seattle, but it always brings together some top-notch startup people. Each event typically brings 75 people, but they’re all really high quality. I found that those events are the best for networking because you actually get to know everyone at the event, as opposed to the large events where meet and greets seem to be more high level.”

– Andy KaruzaSpotSurvey


17. Closed Facebook Communities

“I often use networking as a knowledge resource. Discovering a type of software, a tactic, or even a helpful blog post can be crucial. I will often just post a simple question in closed community groups, and the outpouring has been incredible. It is also important to reciprocate when others seek guidance to demonstrate your value to the micro-community.”



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