Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know.
No matter the field you work in, networking can help you make connections, meet new clients, spark important conversations, and help your business thrive. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know where to go or how to begin growing your professional contacts.
Looking to network but not sure where to start? We’ve pinpointed a few of the great events and spots in and around Detroit for forging relationships and meeting new people.
Detroit Startup Week
Taking place between June 17 to June 21st, Detroit Startup Week is attended yearly by nearly 10,000 business owners, artists, industry thought leaders, and more. Whether you’re in tech, finance, health or design, each day the volunteer-led event focuses on a specific industry or learning area, so all your bases are covered. Hear from experts and learn from fellow entrepreneurs, all of whom share a common goal of helping Detroit startups thrive.
Exterior of the Green Garage. Brendan Ross [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
For freelancers who feel isolated at home, coworking spaces are a haven of community and collaboration. Today, there are nearly a dozen coworking spaces in the city—and that number is only expected to grow. Choose the coworking space that suits you and your business needs best—whether that’s Green Garage (socially and environmentally conscious), TechTown (technology), WeWork (startups), SpaceLab (design based) or Bamboo Detroit (all of the above). Then there’s Femology, a gorgeous space made with female-based startups and entrepreneurs in mind. Finally, the Detroit Parent Collective, offers co-working and drop-in daycare for busy parents.
Many professionals use LinkedIn in some capacity or another, but how many of our connections do we actually meet in person? #LinkedinLocal aims to bring online connections offline. With events held in major cities across North America, word spread quickly about #LinkedInLocalDetroit, which now regularly hosts events based on different themes and industries.
Network After Work
With events in more than 100 cities, Network After Work offers monthly events in the Detroit area for career-minded professionals, local businesses, and owners. Held at lively spots like The Bosco, the Fort Street Gallery, and more, you’ll make great connections in a relaxed and upbeat atmosphere (drinks and snacks included!) while expanding your network of contacts. Of course, they’re not the only ones organizing events in Detroit. Browse eventbrite for a host of networking events and opportunities being held in the city based on your industry and interests.
The Office Coffee Shop
Part coworking space, part coffee shop, the Office Coffee Shop offers the best of both worlds. Described as “a business hub where everyone can meet, work, and be social over Great Coffee,” you can pay to join their coworking community, which gives you access to tables, private offices, and networking events. However, they’re also open to the public serving locally sourced coffee. Even if you aren’t a member, it’s a great spot to grab a cup of java and mingle with fellow startups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
Musician Nolan Young Quartet performing at the Cadieux Cafe. Photo by Jeff Dunn on Flickr
All work no play makes networking a dull affair. Open until 2 a.m. daily, the Cadieux Cafe was dubbed one of the “Best Bars in America” by Esquire and is frequented by people from all kinds of industries and walks of life. You can bond with friends and strangers and strike up a conversation over activities like feather bowling, archery, and bicycling. The former Prohibition-era speakeasy is considered a social hub in metro Detroit and it doesn’t hurt that it also has some of the best Belgian beers in the city.
Did we miss any? Share your favorite spots with us @commoncitizenry!