Meetup initiatives are among the best ways to expand knowledge and build a vibrant network for your future career. But if you’re searching for the most valuable networking and learning opportunities, here’s what you should pay attention to. Focus on your interests and hobbies, the current experience, the event formula (online, onsite, or hybrid), and, of course, the chosen event's opportunities.
Read our short list of tips and boost your career, entering them into force.
A guide to choosing the right meetup initiatives for networking and learning
Choose what's in your sphere of interest
The first step towards choosing the most suitable events is deciding your hobbies or professional interests. Afterward, you can quickly search for the proper initiatives on the thematic groups on social media, business portals, and web forums.
What do you want to achieve with this event?
Do you already know what you’re looking for? So now it’s time to focus on your further plans. In other words, answer yourself a question: “Why do I want to join the learning event?”. Knowing what you want to achieve with the initiative will help you choose the best one. Are you thinking about learning something new? Developing the already gained skills? Checking yourself in new situations? Getting to know people and building your network of contacts (up)? Finding clients or just having a good time? Every reason is good if you can define it.
Visit thematic groups on social media
Join thematic groups on social media, and start by reading their bios carefully. Here is where you can find all the crucial information about each group’s goal. The next step should be checking what events happened previously and, if any of them gain your interest, looking through the upcoming initiatives. Just don’t forget to sign up for the chosen ones!
Get to know the event's organizers
Even the most interestingly described initiative won’t meet your expectations if not for the verified organizers. Spend time searching for information about them, which will pay off soon. We advise you to choose the events led by experienced, well-known experts… because if you learn – why not learn only from the best, right?
Check what’s the meetup formula
Online? Onsite? Or hybrid mode? The pandemic showed us that there’s more than just one way of organizing social events, and now you have a choice, so think twice before you make it.
“Some initiatives, like workshops, can offer you the most when participating in them in person. But if you prefer to join a typical lecture, don’t hesitate to settle on the online formula,” – advises Justyna Adach, Head of Community and Culture at Codete.
The review will tell you the truth
Before the event starts, you’ll probably have time to look closely at it. Reading the official description will help, but we recommend looking for some reviews written by the participants of the previous editions. What suited them? Where did the problems appear? Would the review’s author recommend the event to their friends? The most important answers can often be found right in the reviews.
Active participants mean a chance for valuable cooperation
The more engaged the participants, the bigger the opportunity for the cooperation to result in something good. Pay attention if a large group of people is interested in the event and exchanging information about it. If yes, by joining the initiative, you will probably get a chance to become a part of a robust and well-coordinated community.
Search for real networking occasions
Does the event you chose offer you a chance to expand your range of contacts? Are special initiatives like open discussions or networking sessions organized? Finding engaging learning events is worth doing, undoubtedly, but pay attention to whether the organizers offer any extra opportunities to the participants.
Give yourself some time
Initially, we advise you to participate in as many different events as possible because that’s how you can find the ones that interest you. The more meetups you join, the bigger your experience and the more conscious your final decision will be.
“I’m aware that participation in many events may be expensive, but nowadays, more and more companies organize free webinars and meetups. Just follow their social media to be up to date and expand your skills and range of contacts.” – says Jagoda Bieś, Communication and Event Coordinator at Codete.
Don’t quit too fast
Have you ever checked a trial period using cable TV or a gym membership card? So you can do the same while looking for new learning and networking initiatives. Don’t give up too fast, and don’t rely on your first impression only because sometimes it’s worth spending more time with new people to feel the group's vibe.
Let yourself change your mind
But what if you don’t feel it or your hobbies change over time? The excellent information is that it’s normal because if you don’t change, you don’t develop! We discourage you from forcing yourself to do anything, including participating in uninteresting events. Keep having your mind and eyes open - another chance may be right around the corner!
Finding the right meetup for you – key takeaways
Meetups and other learning initiatives are excellent opportunities for your career development. Nevertheless, it’s essential to choose them wisely and carefully because what matters is the quality of the selected events, not the number of them.
If you want to be updated with all the most exciting options, we advise you to set up alerts that will remind you about them. Following the fanpages of companies organizing such meetups will be an essential step in the proper direction, facilitating your time planning.
And if the AI, IT, and new technologies topics are your cup of tea, give a like to the Codete social media accounts, and let’s meet at Techie’s Space during one of our open meetups.