FRETZIN Saves You Time: Here’s a List of Networking Groups in Chicago

Many of my clients have been asking for a “cheat sheet” to events local to the Chicagoland area. While I can’t say they are all created equal, it’s up to you to qualify which fits for you. Remember, you are looking for two direct targets when attending events.

  1. Direct prospects: people who can do business with you directly.
  2. Referral sources: people who can refer you business on a regular or frequent basis.

Please review this list, reach out to the membership person with a list of questions that relate to your interests in attending or joining. If it sound’s right for you, try one out before committing to joining.

Here’s a list to get you started, followed by some additional ideas that might be helpful too. Enjoy!

  1. ProVisors: This is a once a month leads group for motivated networkers. They “qualify” the right people in to ensure the group is solid. They have a lawyer group as well if you’re interested in networking with other lawyers.
  2. PWCC (Professional Women’s Club of Chicago): Specifically for women who are looking to network with other women.
  3. EPWNG (Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group): Specifically for women who are looking to network with other women.
  4. BNI (Business Network International): It’s a starter leads group for B2B and B2C that meets weekly to drive lead generation. A good place to start.
  5. LeTip: Almost the same as BNI. Great for residential real estate, estate planning, family, etc.
  6. ACA: I actually started this eight years ago. They have cool events and try to qualify the members. The guy who runs it is awesome, Scott Weinberg. Let me know if you want an intro.
  7. Friendly Lawyer Network: Mainly for solo and small firm attorneys.
  8. TAC (Trusted Advisors Council):
  9. ABA (American Bar Association):
  10. CBA (Chicago Bar Association):
  11. ISBA (Illinois State Bar Association):
  12. ACC (Association of Corporate Counsel):
  13. MBBI (Midwest Business Brokers & Intermediaries):
  14. ACG (Association of Corporate Growth):
  15. Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce:

Also, look for synergy based groups:

  • Ethnic Based Groups: For example, the Hispanic, Korean Bar Association, etc.
  • Alumni Groups: Undergrad, MBA or Law School
  • Private Clubs: University Club, Standard Club, etc.
  • Manufacturing or Technology Associations
  • Various Boards & Charities that Relate to Your Interests or Practice Area