8 Key Networking Events for New York Event Planners

May 17, 2024 Jessica Stewart

As a New York event planner, you get to see firsthand the magic that happens when people gather together. Whether you specialize in NYC weddings and mitzvahs or corporate events, you turn your talent for creating memorable moments into gatherings that forge and deepen relationships.

Put that magic to work for your business by attending networking events for New York planners. In this article, we’ll share the types of networking events that lead to a strong and vast network to bolster your event planning business.

Networking Is Essential for NYC Event Planners

As a New York event planner, you probably feel like you spend all of your time as it is at events. Maybe the thought of trudging to more gatherings, even networking events, feels like too much work. However, consider the following facts.

  • Networking leads to more event-planning clients. 70% of businesses pick up new leads when they exhibit at trade shows. (Fit Small Business)
  • In-person networking events are critical to your event planning success. 76% of businesses credit in-person conferences with their success. (Fit Small Business)
  • Networking online is effective for finding new event planning clients. 65% of B2B companies have found new clients by using LinkedIn. (Social Pilot)

Now that we have you jazzed up for attending networking events, let’s dive into some types of NYC events that will help you grow your event planning business.

1. Join a NYC Chamber of Commerce

There are over two dozen Chambers of Commerce in the greater NYC area. Each of these Chambers hosts a variety of networking events. You can fill your calendar with everything from lunch-and-learns, weekly referral groups, and larger semi-annual events.

However, joining a Chamber of Commerce will grant you access to other kinds of support and advertising, too. Your event planning business information will be published on their website and in a print publication. They also offer resources, such as meeting rooms, which you can book, or professional development opportunities.

2. Join an Event Planning Professionals Association

There are plenty of national and local event planning associations. Each of them hosts networking events and offers a community of professionals with whom you can talk shop. Just like Chambers of Commerce, professional associations offer a multitude of other benefits, such as mentoring programs, training certificates, and digital resources.

3. Join Online Groups

Perhaps, you’re a social butterfly who prefers in-person groups rather than online communities. But don’t discount online networking events just yet because they have advantages that in-person events can’t beat.

Online networking puts you in touch with people across a larger geographical area, giving you access to more diverse ideas. And online networking is wickedly efficient. When you post a question to an online group, you’re mining the experience of potentially thousands of people at once. And online groups are great for every type of networking, whether you’re looking to connect with other event planners, scoping for sponsors, or looking to snag more clients.

4. Join a Mastermind Group

A mastermind group is an association of professionals who meet regularly to offer support and accountability. Comprised of only five or six people, a mastermind group is designed to foster strong connections. The people in your mastermind group help each other solve problems and act as accountability partners to drive you to achieve your goals. And, of course, members of a mastermind group share contacts and referrals.

5. Offer Your Event Planning Services to a Volunteer Organization

All nonprofits have one thing in common: they are always thinking about fundraising. Try offering your services as a NYC event planner to a nonprofit that interests you. In the process of doing so, you’ll make contacts within the organization. But you’ll also meet donors and business people who could potentially be future clients.

6. Host a Meet and Greet

Put your event planning chops to work for yourself. You can put on your own intimate shindig designed to grow and strengthen your network. Meet and greets are small affairs of only about a dozen or so people. They’re casual and cozy, and they provide the perfect backdrop for attendees to get to know each other.

Since you’re in the market to grow your own network, you want to make sure there are people at your meet and greet whom you haven’t met yet. You can require each of your attendees to bring someone from their network. Or you can advertise your meet and greet among the organizations you’ve joined.

You can make your meet and greet a regular affair. Scheduling a gathering every quarter or so will ensure your network is consistently expanding.

7. Check Online Event Calendars Regularly

Networking opportunities are always popping up around New York City. You can find happy hours for professionals, speaker engagements, and ribbon cuttings that are happening around you.

Check Meetup and Eventbrite at the beginning of the month, and mark on your calendar events that are of interest to you and have the potential to grow your network.

One-off events are different from the regular groups and associations you join. You’ll need to be proactive by following up with the people you meet. However, these one-and-done events give you the opportunity to expand your network beyond the usual confines of event planning.

8. Grow a Network Larger than Jack’s Beanstalk by Attending The Event Planner Expo

There’s one surefire way to hobnob with over 2,000 event professionals, and that’s by attending The Event Planner Expo 2024. This ultimate gathering of event professionals takes place over three days and features dozens of speakers, countless workshops, and hundreds of exhibitors.

Better yet, register to become an exhibitor at The Event Planner Expo 2024. Your event planning business is your baby, and when you exhibit at The Event Planner Expo 2024, you’ll watch your little cherub grow like a weed. After all, as Fit Small Business notes, 70% of businesses find valuable leads while exhibiting at trade shows. Register while spots are still open.

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