Austin Networking Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Business

Image of a woman attending a networking event in Austin

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17 min read

How many Austin networking events have you attended in the past? Are you a frequent contributor? Or have you yet to meet-up with others in the area?

Those that have taken part in at least one networking event will know just how helpful they are to young and aspiring businesses. These events give you the chance to collaborate, to learn, and will fill you full of entrepreneurial spirit, guaranteed!

There are networking events everywhere in Austin. Some might be right on your front door step, you just didn’t know it.

The knowledge shared at these get-togethers are priceless, not to mention real. Austin networking events are a chance to get away from the screens and embrace with like-minded and not-so like-minded individuals to talk about anything and everything business.

You’ll find there are networking events for every industry too – ranging from tech, IT and SaaS to B2B businesses. In other words, there’s something for everyone.

Should we take a look at a couple?

Austin Startup Week taking place
Credit to Austin Startup Week

Austin Startup Week

First up is Austin Startup Week. This annual Austin networking event is all about celebrating and showcasing everything entrepreneurial. Each year, the event brings together startup founders, local leaders, and everything in between, together within the same space.

The event started in 2011, and quickly became a one-stop-shop for engaging sessions, workshops and special events. And that’s without talking about the influence of speakers.

Speakers who represent some of Austin’s best and brightest!

Easily the best way to keep on top of future Austin Startup Week networking events is to visit the official website. Here you’ll find everything you need, from free resources to event sponsors.

You could pinpoint the various networking events that occur during this week, but it’s easier for us to group it into the same event.

Honestly, we could have another blog just focusing on the individual events under this annual tradition!

Okay, we’ll talk about one – probably the coolest event of the bunch, at least in our opinion.

Something known as ‘The Startup Crawl’ always goes down a hit. This event involves moving up and down various floors in a single building, with something of value to offer on each floor. Here attendees can grab drinks and mingle with others in a very unique way.

NIA Austin Event homepage
Credit to Network in Action

Network In Action

Network in Action (NIA) can be found dotted all over Austin. They run monthly networking events that are structured around various topics/points of interest.

For example, looking on Eventbrite right now, I can see a marketing-based event upcoming next month at the Foxhole Culinary Tavern. The event is all about gifting attendees with a range of DIY marketing tools to help them engage specific audiences.

This is but one example of a NIA event. You might find yourself attending one that looks at branding, and the importance of it.

All NIA events are presented by a trained professional. Which is a lot different than some of the other events mentioned in our Austin networking events list here.

You see, some are organized by single individuals. Which isn’t to say that NIA events aren’t community orientated. We’re simply pointing out the differences.

Here, watch this video. This will help:

These networking events occur across the city, so make sure you keep your eyes and ears open as you can never be too sure on where they land next!

Multiple people attending a Campfire event in Austin
Credit to Tech Ranch Austin

Campfire Team Building

Networking in bars won’t be to everyone’s liking. And that’s totally fine as there are countless options out there that take place in venue spaces and conference rooms. Just look at Campfire Team Building for the perfect example.

Tech Ranch Austin – the company behind these networking events – offers a more immersive form of networking. Something that goes beyond your typical business card exchange.

In case the name of the company wasn’t a dead giveaway, Campfire Team Building is geared towards brands in the tech space.

This monthly event has been running for quite some time now. With every year attracting a new batch of attendees, each with something new to share with those in attendance.

Here’s a quote from Blake Garett, Founder & CEO of Aceable, who clearly found benefits in attending the event:

“When I was just starting my entrepreneurial journey, Tech Ranch® Campfires and pitch practices embraced and challenged me. The community was welcoming and helpful while the mentorship from Kevin and his team was exactly what I needed.”

These days, the accelerator exists in both a digital and physical format, giving attendees various opportunities to attend.

Image of a trade show taking place at SXSW
Credit to SXSW

SXSW

No Austin networking events you don’t want to miss list is complete without some mention of South By Southwest – known to many by the SXSW abbreviation. Some refer to it as ‘South By.’

Whichever way you call it, it’s still the pinnacle of events in Austin, drawing massive crowds each and every year.

The interactive media and conferences portion of the event is what we’d like to bring to your attention. Not that the music element is worth skipping, we’re just trying to remain focused on one particular lane here for your benefit.

It’s here that you’ll be able to interact with a variety of people. If you work in the tech industry, this is your chance to speak with some of the most innovative minds currently in the market.

There’s a bunch of special events in and around South By you should check out too, which are borderline melting pots of creativity and collaboration.

The event has been running for well over 20 years at this point. What’s great about the event is that it isn’t limited to one topic. It’s simply a breeding ground for innovation and fresh ideas. Which for business folk is worth its weight in gold.

SXSW is a staple of Austin, Texas, one that is constantly inspiring other large-scale networking events in other states.

Anyone who’s anyone has heard of SXSW.

Young Business League Austin homepage
Credit to Young Men’s Business League

Young Men’s Business League

Connect, lead and serve. Three words that tie in with the Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) in Austin. The league holds a variety of events, specifically for young men in the area, to form business/personal relationships with other attendees.

The league places a lot of focus on the area. It’s a community-driven effort that teaches its members to hone their leadership skills while establishing lasting connections.

The events vary in terms of speakers and topics, which will no doubt prove helpful to young professionals looking to make an impact. Of course, these networking events won’t be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t classify as ‘don’t miss.’

You can learn more about the Young Men’s Business League and how they help teach attendees the fundamentals, over on the league’s website.

Network After Work logo
Credit to Network After Work

Network After Work

Network After Work currently has over 8,000 members on Meetup at the moment. No small feat when you consider how many Austin networking events there probably are total.

The events run by Network After Work are for everyone. Entrepreneurs, professionals, executives and thought leaders, all are welcome to participate and share their ideas/stories.

Like the majority of networking events mentioned, Network After Work does support virtual meetings alongside in-person events. It’s an area that the group has evolved into seamlessly.

We should point out that Austin is simply one of various locations that Network After Work runs events in. According to the website they run events in 87 US locations, and is constantly on the lookout for new locations to expand its overall reach.

You will need to be a member to attend these events. It sounds super formal, but registering takes minutes. And once you’re all signed up, you then have access to a range of events.

There’s an event currently in the diary (as of this writing) for how to optimize email marketing, and another on how to generate leads using LinkedIn. So as you can see, plenty to learn if you’re interested.

People having a conversation at an Austin networking event
Credit to Business eXchange Network

Business eXchange Network

Looking for something a lot more frequent? Perhaps one that can help you bag a few referrals along the way?

If so, then we have just the networking event in mind. We’re of course referring to the Business eXchange Network (BXN). A network with over a thousand established names, each with something different to offer.

The BXN is described as “a group for anyone interested in growing their business, exchanging ideas, passing referrals and meeting like-minded business professionals.” Where these events occur every week does change, although one thing is constant:

Every event takes place within a bar or restaurant.

Bars and restaurants are common spots for networking events in Austin. Why that is comes down to how relaxing these environments are. Anything that helps attendees feel comfortable will only help maximize the effectiveness of these events.

One of the benefits of the BXN is how frequent each networking opportunity is. It’s like we said. The events are weekly so if you miss one week it’s not like you have to wait another 30 days for the next one.

Austin Young Professionals banner
Credit to Austin Young Professionals

Austin Young Professionals

Young professions out of ATX, you need to get involved with Austin Young Professionals – especially if you’re looking to be a part of the bustling tech market.

This group is known mostly for its ‘NetParty Connect’ events. Events that combine business networking with social fun. In other words, attendees are invited to engage with other promising young professionals in settings such as lounges, nightclubs and mansions.

Variations of these networking events are varied too. You have ‘NetParty’s Tech Night 2000,’ which are sponsored events. Then you have ‘NetParty Social Club,’ which is strictly for socializing with others.

There’s also speed networking events that are a hell of a lot of fun in their own right!

Austin Young Professionals are an affiliate of NetParty for those not in the know. An organization that runs similar events across the country.

Team Austin Networking event
Credit to Team Austin Networking

Team Austin Networking

Past networking events from Team Austin Networking have been instrumental in teaching attendees how to approach aspects of business – all the while encouraging them to actively engage with one another afterwards.

Previous events have looked at how to gain funding relatively quickly as a startup. Others have emphasized speakers who outline how to grow businesses with an accelerator.

Team Austin Networking’s speaker series and happy hour events gather attention from across Austin, not to mention other parts of Texas!

If you look at photos from these networking events, you’ll notice it has a very easy-going sort of vibe to it all. With most events taking place within a conference room, complete with a handful of speakers sitting on a couch simply responding to questions from the audience.

Events typically occur on the last week of the month, either on a Wednesday or a Thursday, giving attendees plenty of time to plan ahead accordingly.

Any Austin networking event that balances the human interaction part with the learning part gets a massive tick in the yes box from us. Hence why we’re highlighting it here in this blog, for maximum exposure.

People attending a BONG Austin event
Credit to Austin Business Owners Networking Group

Austin Business Owners Networking Group

The Austin BONG is all about encouraging entrepreneurs on their journey, to meet and make solid connections, but also, to have fun on the journey.

Meetings are monthly. Meetings intended for local “entrepreneurs, dreamers and self employed types.” Images of past events might seem formal, but in reality, they’re a lot more relaxed and fun!

These Austin Business Owners Networking Group events are great for championing ideas and opportunities. Attendees are encouraged to present their businesses to the group. Doing this is confidence-building. And ensures that you’re on the right track in and amongst your peers and experts who’ve already lived that life.

Plus, there’s incentives outside of the fantastic experience gained. There’s a free event due in January taking place at a country club giving out free tacos. I mean, who doesn’t love free tacos and business advice at networking events?

Go get involved.

Thinkers & Drinkers logo
Credit to Thinkers & Drinkers

Thinkers & Drinkers

Thinking and drinking, is it possible? This Austin networking event would say yes, considering how many events they’ve run in the past, and the 10,000+ members that spread across 6 cities and two continents.

Austin is one of its main hubs, accelerating growth over a friendly drink. According to the event organizers, Thinkers & Drinkers are dedicated to the following:

  • Open Communication
  • In Person Social Networking
  • Adventures
  • Community Involvement
  • Good Times with Great People

Thinkers & Drinkers might sound like an excuse to get hammered. But what it’s really about is testing the waters of your business ideas amongst people looking for the exact same thing (that being, experience).

Again, the benefits of being out in a social setting (aka in a bar) helps relieve some of the tension that you might find in other business settings.

Still not convinced?

Check out this review left by a Sherry from Tennessee:

“I was new to San Antonio and eager to find a fun, interesting crowd. Enter T&D under the inspired leadership and direction of one Ian C. Perry. It’s been a 18 months of great conversations, killer hangs and hilarious misadventures. And I met my best friends and boyfriend through the meetup! These are my kinda people.”

No Name Networking event taking place
Credit to N3 No Name Networking

N3 No Name Networking

Strategic is the word we’d use to describe this Austin networking event. Strategic in the sense that No Name Networking’s events only allow one business per category at each event.

You might think that this is alienating for most. Only we really like the concept as it encourages you to interact with businesses in completely different sectors to understand their common pain points and goals.

The idea is to grow word of mouth marketing and referrals by sharing your business with people who might not otherwise find you. Ever wondered how you can build and nurture relationships in Austin as a business-owner or up and comer?

This is how.

These networking events are weekly too. Taking place in a variety of locations across ATX. Just remember to check the event calendar beforehand, as they typically outline which professions they’re looking for.

Austinites attending a networking event
Credit to LinkedIn Local Austin Networking

LinkedIn Local Austin Networking

LinkedIn elevated networking to new heights, connecting people all over Austin to other parts of the States, not to mention, the world.

LinkedIn Local Austin Networking invites people to meet beyond the screen, face-to-face in low-pressure environments.

The concept works in any language, and is one of many in-person LinkedIn gatherings to appear in recent years. Still, this event has a rich history to it that others don’t. These Austin networking events have been going on for over a decade.

Event president Elizabeth Dahan, has been there since the start, welcoming thousands of Austinites in with open arms. Here you can do everything from exchange information to mentor and conduct other day-to-day business.

There’s a new LinkedIn Local networking event each month, on Tuesdays, to be specific. Where they take place tends to vary. At the moment Water 2 Wine on West Anderson Lane appears to be the preferred hotspot.

Be sure to check the event details in case this changes.

Skyline of Austin, Texas

Solopreneurs’ Growth Support Network

Growing your business and brand from scratch is a lot of hard work. More-so if you’ve chosen to go the solo route to get to the top.

This group is there to provide you with the support you need to help your business get up and off the ground. It’s a networking event that focuses on aspiring entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers and small business owners.

The real-world strategies, tips, tools and techniques shared are tried and tested, and taught by legit doctors in the field!

One of the most underrated aspects of this Austin networking event is this:

It teaches you how to maximize your time and success when you’re running with limited staff and resources. Business is a time game, and any tips on bettering that will go a long way in establishing yourself effectively.

Solopreneurs’ Growth Support Network says it best:

“You don’t have to be big to be a big success in business.”

East Austin Coworking Community image
Credit to East Austin Coworking Community

East Austin Coworking Community

Are you someone who works better when they’re surrounded by other creative, hard-working and goal-driven individuals?

If your answer was yes then you should definitely check out the networking events run by the East Austin Coworking Community.

This group was put together by Createscape in East Austin as a way to connect multiple individuals all within the same space. Digital nomads, remote workers, creatives and small business owners. All are invited to join!

Think of these events as a coworking space, only without the awkward pauses of silence. Attendees are invited to share their work and their passions with others, in a creative environment that pushes everyone to be at their best.

What’s more, the East Austin Coworking Community also runs regular happy hour events alongside free coworking days.

Coworking spaces can feel like borderline libraries at times given the silence. So it’s refreshing to see a group come at it from a community-driven perspective. Don’t you think?

Austin Networking Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Austin is a haven for creatives and business types. So why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of every resource you have around you?

Forming connections are an important part of business. It’s a kinship that follows you just about everywhere.

You never know.

The people you meet at Austin networking events could one day be a part of your business – or at the very least work with you to some capacity.

Brands tend to spend a lot of time stuck in that us vs them mentality. When in reality, there’s strength in linking with others to better your understanding of your business, how to market your brand and how to capitalize on effective branding.

Startup founders and entrepreneurs will know first hand how important networking is (which explains why there’s so many events dedicated to these individuals).

Hopefully at this point you should understand the importance of attending networking events in Austin. And if you don’t, what more do we really need to say! These events are all about helping your brand be the best version of itself.

Similar to what we can do for you and your brand here at Canny. If you need help with branding, websites, content or video, do get in touch.

Think of our partnership as a form of collaboration, only we do a lot more of the heavy lifting as we position you for success.