One of the best things about doing business in Hampton Roads is the amazing community of business owners. If you’re new in town, or just looking for new customers for your business, a networking group can be a great place to start.
Jackie, owner of College Park Executive Suites, has attended many of the local networking groups. She’s an invaluable resource when it comes to which groups are right for which businesses. Here are some of her favorites.
BizConnect Hampton Roads
A vibrant community of business owners and representatives from across Hampton Roads, Biz Connect offers casual networking opportunities, targeted skills workshops and business relationships that often turn into friendships.
Led by Laura Henderson, this group is an invaluable resource for business owners of all industries. Their weekly meetings are held at member locations in order to showcase member businesses. They also have a monthly public meeting, open to non-members. BizConnect also has its own location on W 21st Street in Norfolk.
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association
An important resource for any business with military contracts in Hampton Roads, AFCEA connects military, civil service and industry leaders through a monthly luncheon and other social events.
With seven major defense headquarter commands and operating bases in Hampton Roads, businesses can build a massive network by becoming members of this organization. Meetings and activities are open to both visitors as well as members.
Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
TheHampton Roads Chamberis more than a networking opportunity; it’s a resource to help build your business. In addition to 20+ events each month, members also get discounts, an advocate, development opportunities.
They partner with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Opportunity Inc., and the Small Business Development Center to provide resources and support to businesses of all sizes and types.
Referral Finders – Beyond the Borders
This networking group serves professionals in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina. Beyond the Borders is a newer group, founded in January of 2018. While they’re currently small, they are actively looking for new members. You have a good chance of standing out from the pack in a group this intimate. To join, you must interview and be accepted.
Business Network International (BNI)
With multiple chapters in the region, BNI helps members grow their businesses with a structured referral marketing program. BNI chapters are everywhere. There are 20 in Virginia Beach alone!
The meetings are very structured and give each member an opportunity to talk about their business and trade business cards and make referrals. There is a structured agenda and only one person from each profession or specialty is allowed to join the chapter.
With the goal of supporting, promoting and showcasing the work of female business owners, eWomenNetworkhelps women network and build relationships. They host Strategic Business Introductions, workshops, and Accelerated Networking Events. Women from across the country come together at the yearly Women’s Success Summit.
Jackie loves introducing her tenants to her network and suggesting others. Start renting today, and start connecting tomorrow. And please pop over to our Facebook Page and tell us about your favorite networking group in Hampton Roads.