Paladin’s Guide to Networking in Chicago

Posted by Mike Dwyer on March 27, 2009

Eating, drinking and networking your way to a new job for $25.00 a day!

I have developed notoriety among my friends and colleagues for attending a record number of networking events over the years. I’m addicted to meeting new people and learning about different industries; I love to hear about a ‘day in the life’ of someone else within the marketing or creative field.

Meeting people face-to-face is the key to developing or maintaining any successful business relationship. While you might discover a new lead or uncover some useful information via the web, the majority of meaningful interactions take place in person according to Keller Fay which is a leading full-service marketing research and consulting company dedicated to word of mouth marketing.

“Around 3.5 billion word-of-mouth conversations take place in the U.S. on a daily basis, of which just 7% take place online via instant/test messaging, chat rooms, email and blogs. The remainder take place offline either face to face (75%) or on the telephone (17%).”

If you are developing a personal brand for a new job search; looking for speaking engagement opportunities to amplify your company’s thought leadership presence within any given industry; or to learn from your peers, there is nothing more effective than face-to-face meetings.

The majority of these events have a nominal fee of $25.00- $45.00 for you to attend and they always feed you! Due to the increasing level of marketers out of work, there is a growing number of candidates and a dwindling number of positions. Employed marketing and creative executives also attend these events. I have heard from numerous very talented marketers I wish I had attended more events while I was employed to expand my network, and I agree.

Within the marketing and creative associations alone, there are a never ending stream of events, luncheons, breakfasts and cocktail hours across the city. Following is a brief list of the events I typically attend.

Marketing and Creative Associations:

CIMA: Chicago Interactive Marketing Association

AMA: American Marketing Association

BMA: Business Marketing Association

CADM: Chicago Association of Direct Marketers

IABC: International Association of Business Communicators

LMA: Chicago Legal Marketing Association

ANA: Association of National Advertisers

Illinois Technology Association

Chicago Executive Leadership Association

Young Professionals Group of Chicago

Marketing and Social Media “Meet-Ups”:

Chicago Interactive Design Development Meet-Up

Chicago Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing Meet-Up

Chicago Social Media Club

AMA Meet-Up

MBA Alumni Business School Marketing Events

University of Chicago Booth School of Business Marketing Roundtables

IIT Stuart School of Business

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