If you are looking to expand your business by number-of-contacts, you have two distinct sets of networking groups.
The first you know – the Association of Like-Minded Consultants, the Society of Trainers Looking for Opportunities, and the Guild of Under-Employed Technical Writers.
The second is new to you; was new to me until a short while ago:
The Bankers Association of Toronto; The Tight-Knit-Group of Investment Counselors, and the Clique of Pharmaceutical VPs.
To join the first set
… you merely show up at the monthly event, tell them that you are a visitor at the first meeting, and you get in for free.
Next month you pay a $25 one-time fee.
If you decide to join, it is $125 a year and $10 per night.
Bring lots of business cards and be prepared to stand up and make a 60-second elevator speech.
To join the second set
… you need a really well-cut suit, you need to play golf or have a boat (or at least know someone who has a boat), and you need to be invited.
Bring only a few business cards because it’s not a shotgun approach to business, it's really about basking in the safety and security of The Club.