We all know how valuable it can be to get out and meet people in real life. When meeting someone in person, there’s a deeper connection — a layer of trust — instantly established that takes longer to build when connecting online. The problem is, meetups and events take time — time that could be spent on client work or more targeted business development.

It’s important to recognize the value of each event and weigh that against the alternative way you’d be spending your time. It’s ok to be selective when choosing which events to attend.

Below, we share the top meetups and events to attend for community, content and marketing professionals. But first, here are some general guidelines for deciding if an event is going to return the value for your time invested, and how you can make the most of it.

  • Who’s speaking? Is the speaker someone who you could either learn a ton from or recruit as a client? If yes, go, but make sure you make an impact when you approaching them so that you’re not just another business card in their pile. Get their info when speaking to them so the follow up is iyour responsibility.
  • Who’s attending? If the event has an attendee list, scope it out. Mentally highlight 3-5 people you’d like to meet in person and make sure you find them at the event to introduce yourself and exchange contact information.
  • Is there a future speaking opportunity? If the event is a future branding opportunity for yourself, you should go and make friends with the organizer.

Also, we’re excited to share that our sister company is launching soon! Subscribe to The Fetch to receive a curated list of professional events in your city.

Best meetups focused on community

1) Community Manager Breakfast (NY & SF)

Hosted by: Evan Hamilton (SF) and Margot Mazur (NY)

Where: NY & SF

When: Varied dates. Check the calendar for exact dates in NY and SF.

Community Manager Breakfast is a monthly meetup for those in the community building and management space. The event focuses on an ongoing dialogue between peers, covering topics such as community manager budgets, ROI and crisis management.

2) OCTribe – Online Community Tribe Meetup (SF)

Hosted by: Susan TenbyCrystal ColemanSusan Chavez

Where: SF

When: 4th Wednesday of every month (usually) at 7pm.

OCTribe is for any interested in the topic of online community management, online social networking applications, social media and online group collaboration. The group discusses tools and strategies to enhance participation on various online communities that they support.

3) CMX Series

Hosted by: CMX and a community of volunteer city directors

Where: All over the globe

When: Various times depending on the city.

CMX Series is a monthly education focused meetup connecting and supporting community professionals in different cities all over the world. Visit the site to see where your local chapter meets or start one of your own!

4) Customer Success Meetup (SF)

Hosted by: Scott MasseyJosh WebberJunan Pang

Where: SF

When: A varying Wednesday each month.

For the community professionals focused more on support and customer success, this meetup group is dedicated to connecting professionals in customer success and sharing best practices for this growing field. If your role touches on the success of their customers, product management, lifecycle marketing, or making your organization more customer-centric, this is the group for you.

Best meetups focused on content marketing

5) New York Inbound Marketing Professionals

Hosted by: Joseph Franklyn McElroy, Keith Reynolds 

Where: NY

When: Varied dates.

The NY Inbound Marketing Professionals meetup is a working group for professionals involved and interested in the practice of inbound marketing. Tactics covered include SEO & PPC, email automation, event marketing, publicity & public relations and more.

6) Content Hackers (NY)

Hosted by: New York Chapter of the PR Society of America

Where: NY

When: Varied dates.

This group’s group’s mission is to help organizations embrace, scale and evolve content marketing.

Best meetups focused on marketing

7) San Francisco Agile Marketing

Hosted by: Austin WalneNicholas MuldoonPaul Willard

Where: SF

When: The third Wednesday of each month at 6pm.

The Agile Marketing meetup is a place to learn from and network with other pioneers in the agile marketing field. Past topics covered include extreme testing, app store optimization, designing for empathy and retention featuring IDEO and more.

8) NYC Marketing Mixer

Hosted by: Andrew Der

Where: NY

When: Varied dates.

NYC Marketing Mixer is a community of professionals in marketing, branding, innovation, digital and strategy across all industries. The group strives to keep membership at a healthy 80/20 balance when it comes to client-side/agency-side, employed/job-seekers, permanent/freelancers, etc. to maximize the productivity of its networking events.

9) Mobile Growth Hackers (SF)

Hosted by: Mada Seghete

Where: SF

When: Varied dates.

Mobile Growth Hackers is a group of Bay Area mobile app developers (iOS and Android) interested in growing their apps. The group covers all things related to growth, from organic growth hacking, to paid installs, to how to build referral systems.

Bonus meetups

10) Product Hunt Meetup

Hosted by: Product Hunt friends across the globe

Where: Cities across the globe

When: Varies dates and times.

Product hunters across the globe get together once a month to discuss different themes among the latest and greatest products being discovered by the Product Hunt community.

11) Startup Socials

Hosted by: Startup Socials

Where: Cities across the globe

When: Varied dates.

Startup Socials is a global community of entrepreneurs built by entrepreneurs who are passionate about connecting, empowering people in the startup ecosystem. They host social and educational events around the globe where you can network, learn and create new relationships for your current and future startup ventures.

12) Techfest Club (NY)

Hosted by: Mia Otte

Where: NY

When: Varied dates

The monthly event for women in tech.

13) Creative Mornings

Hosted by: The Creative Mornings team and volunteer hosts around the globe

Where: Around the globe

When: The final Friday morning of the month

A breakfast lecture series, Creative Mornings is the perfect event for anyone working in a creative field or looking to be inspired by a topic outside their every day routine.

14) Freelance Friday

Hosted by: CloudPeeps and local city organizers 🙂

Where: Global

When: The final Friday of the month, following Creative Mornings

A brand new monthly coworking meetup for independents, creatives and entrepreneurs. Don’t get cabin fever working from home, come join us in your city.

15) Social Media Club

Hosted by: Social Media Club chapter hosts around the world

Where: Global

When: On a case-by-case basis

An old favorite: Social Media Club hosts conversations that explore key issues facing our society as technologies transform the way we connect, communicate, collaborate and relate to each other.

Parting words

When researching meetups for this article, we noticed that many of our old standbys are no longer regular events, likely because hosting them is such a large undertaking. However, there are still several out there that exist to educate and bring together those who are looking to build connections and relationships. For the best experience, try making friends and meaningful connections with your peers and business heroes online, then take the opportunity to meet them in person at events like those listed here when possible.

For more relevant business events at your finger tips, sign up for The Fetch email digests. 

If you’re a freelancer looking for a community to connect with online or off, join CloudPeeps and our weekly newsletter to keep in touch with what’s happening.