At DAGMAR, we’re proud to be a Jacksonville business and part of this awesome community. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for business and marketing networking events throughout the First Coast.
While we’re primarily a local SEO and internet marketing services agency, we consider networking with all sorts of Jacksonville companies and individuals important to our success. But finding a great networking event isn’t the easiest thing around Jacksonville. Because we think these groups and meetups are really valuable, we’ve put together a list of what we think are Jacksonville’s best networking events, plus some thoughts on why these gatherings matter.
Building Relationships and Making Friends
It’s easy to dismiss networking events as a bunch of salespeople only looking to promote themselves. But you’d be missing out on the number one benefit of these events: making new friends. Especially as adults, it’s difficult to make new friends and acquaintances, so these events are a great way to enlarge your circle of friends. Some of the best friendships come from networking and business events.
A major benefit of these events is the opportunity to get referrals. The beauty of this is that many referrals you may receive (and offer) from a networking event are fairly “warm” — these are pre-qualified leads. Getting a solid referral can be more valuable than many of your other marketing efforts, and a good referral is almost “free” aside from the time you put in to attend an event. Additionally, giving out great referrals is a form of marketing itself. When you send a great lead to a networking partner, you’re going to be top of mind if they’re ever asked “Do you know a great company that does X?”
A good networking event is focused on issues affecting Jacksonville businesses. These events are an important way for you to stay on top of trends in all sorts of aspects of entrepreneurship, from digital marketing to new laws.
For many of us, it’s nerve wracking to stand up in front of your Jacksonville business peers and give them a presentation on things they can do to help move their business forward. Done correctly, though, and you can become a “guru” in your area of expertise with other business owners. This is a huge confidence booster and another great way to get leads.
Even if you don’t get up and speak, you can still use these events to build your confidence. Simply walking up to strangers and introducing yourself and asking about their businesses and their needs can be difficult for people, but the more often you do it, the easier it will become. Eventually, these introductions can also lead to friendships and referrals.
Learning New Ideas
One of the best things I love about meetups is the opportunity to learn about new ideas and strategies other business owners are using and having success with. You can search on the big Google for all sorts of information to help you solve your business problems, but sometimes getting out and talking to others who most likely face or faced a similar problem is a way to rethink your problem or give you new ideas to experiment with.
Increase Your Local Profile
You may have a great business here in Jacksonville, but you may not be known outside the four walls of your company. Get out and increase your profile by attending a networking event. You’ll get your name and business noticed and talked about, especially if you can bring some helpful information to share. This will just further your potential for new leads.
The Enjoyment from Helping Others
Obviously, we’re all in business to make money, but there’s a legitimate enjoyment in just simply providing value to people and helping others. Offering to help or providing valuable knowledge and guidance by giving a presentation at a networking event is an easy way to improve your own personal happiness and satisfaction.
These are just a few of the reasons we find Jacksonville area networking events and meetups so valuable and worthwhile.
Here are some of the best networking events around town we think are worth your time:
Best Marketing Meetups Around Jacksonville
The JOMM – Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup
The Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup is a monthly, non-profit meetup for Jacksonville marketing professionals, business owners, and entrepreneurs interested in sharing information and insights, and learning about online marketing while connecting with other like-minded people.
4887 Belfort Road, Suite 400
American Marketing Association — Jacksonville (JaxAMA)
This is the official Meetup group for the American Marketing Association, Jacksonville chapter (JAMA). You do not need to be an AMA member to attend. The goal of JAMA is to be the most valued professional marketing group and aims to engage, educate, and inspire businesses and marketers on the First Coast. There are quite a few networking and meetup options from JAMA:
- Monthly Breakfast Networking Events
- Fun and Relaxed Networking Events
- Skills Workshops
- Leadership Opportunities
- Local Job Opportunities
- Mentorship Programs
This is a great networking meetup, but it has been a while since they have organized an event. Please continue to check the meetup calendar or JaxAMA website to find out when the next event is scheduled.
Locations change when they have meetups, so check the links for location updates.
Free to attend events, but you can join the AMA for additional benefits
Membership costs $270 per year + $30 dues for the Jacksonville chapter
Interchanges Events goal is to build an elite business community in Northeast Florida. High-caliber business professionals and successful business owners come together to helping each succeed personally and professionally. Additionally, each meetup highlights a specific charity or local non-profit.
Dates and times and locations change, please check the link for calendar updates.
Free to attend
Best General Business/Entrepreneurship Meetups Around Jacksonville
This weekly meetup group is committed to members helping each other by recommending other businesses and passing on leads and referrals. They provide training and education to members and guidance on getting referrals. They also use some of the proceeds from meetups to make a monthly donation to The Wounded Warrior Project.
Mandarin Ale House Wednesdays 9am-10pm
11112 San Jose Blvd
Membership is $5.00 per month and $5.00 when you attend a meetup
Jacksonville Business Meetup & Exchange
The Jacksonville Business Meetup Exchange focuses on helping business professionals grow their networks, generate leads, and increase their revenue. The Jacksonville Business Meetup Exchange was created by local business leaders to help each other make new and valuable connections. Bonus: They do not allow MLM businesses to actively recruit at their events.
Venues change — check the Meetup link for upcoming meetings and locations
Prices change depending on theme of that month’s meetup
Building Bridges for Women in Business
A women’s network organization that is dedicated to empowering professional women, women business owners and women entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools/resources for growth and prosperity so that they may achieve optimal success. Our Mission is to serve as a strong network organization that is dedicated to empowering professional women, women business owners and women entrepreneurs.
Every 2nd Wednesday of the month
Black Fly Taproom & Cafe
11702 Beach Blvd #109
Jacksonville, FL 32246
$10 covers meeting fee. Lunch is on you.
Jacksonville Small Business Meetup
The Jacksonville Small Business Meetup is a networking event allowing small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to come together to network and help each other out.
Every other Monday starting at 8:45am
10151 Deerwood Park Blvd #200
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Network After Work
Network After Work is a national networking organization that hosts meetups and networking events in different cities. These events are more “mixer” than strict business meetups, but they are geared toward the Jacksonville business and entrepreneur community. Great opportunity to connect with like-minded people.
Locations and dates change, check the link for information on upcoming events
Generally from $15-$49 depending on event venue
#StartupJax is focused on creating a community to solve real problems, create viable business models, and work together to help each other move on to the next level. As the name suggests, this group is geared toward the Jacksonville startup community.
Grape and Grain Exchange Thursdays (but dates change) 5:00pm – 7:00pm
2000 San Marco Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Best Tech/IT/Web Design Meetups Around Jacksonville
WP Enthusiasts: WordPress Jax
It’s no secret we love WordPress, so this meetup is a great one for us and anyone else in the Jacksonville area interested in WordPress. While this is not a networking-first group, there are some great opportunities to learn and connect with other WordPress users. Also, Karena Kreger from Open Sky Web Studio and the group organizer has guest posted on our blog about website design trends and we’ve collaborated together. Meetups are held on the third Thursday of the month and the last Wednesday of the month.
WPJax: User Group Meetup (3rd Thursday of the month):
Kuna Co-Working 7:00pm – 9:00pm
9424 Baymeadows Road Ste 250
WP Enthusiasts: WPJax Table Talk (last Wednesday of the month):
Java Game Haus Cafe 11:30am – 1:00pm
11018 Old St Augustine Rd #103
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Jacksonville Java User Group/JaxJUG
The Jacksonville Java User Group(JaxJUG) is a community user group comprised of local Developers and Technology Enthusiasts in the greater Jacksonville area.
Second Wednesday of the Month
5555 Gate Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Free to attend
JITC | Jacksonville Information Technology Council Meetup
The Jacksonville Information Technology Council (JITC) is a forum for IT professionals looking to exchange information, develop partnerships, and educate the IT community. This group is really best for all IT related and non-related business owners, IT Directors, staffing personnel and others who have a keen interest in technology.
Breakfast meetings (7:30 am) are held on the Last Tuesday of the Month
FSCJ Downtown Advanced Technology Building
401 West State Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Free to members, $10 for Guests
Tech on Tap Jax
Tech on Tap Jax is an informal networking group for IT pros in the Jacksonville community. Meetups are held monthly at craft breweries to make new connections and discuss the latest IT topics and trends (and enjoy good beer).
Last Thursday of the Month
Locations change — check the Meetup calendar for upcoming information.
Free to attend. Drinks on you.
Jax Code and Coffee
Code and Coffee, as the name implies, is mostly about coding and drinking coffee. An alternative to after work meetups, Code and Coffee works out well for people with evening commitments who still want to get together with fellow coders and discuss their craft.
There’s actually 2 “Code and Coffee” Meetups around town.
Fruit Cove Code and Coffee — Every Wednesday at 8:30am
Maple Street Biscuit Company
1627 Race Track Road
Jacksonville, FL 32259
St. Augustine Code and Coffee — Every Thursday at 8:30am
300 San Marco Ave
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Free — you’re responsible for your coffee though
These are just a few of the events we’ve either attended or have heard great things about. If you’re looking for more events to check out, visit meetup.com, eventbrite.com or even facebook.com/events (choose networking as the category).
Do you know of any other events you think we should highlight or should be added? Shoot us a message via our contact form to let us know.
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