Networking might seem like a jargony word for “awkward small talk with strangers,” but there’s no denying the bounty of opportunities that can come from some meaningful engagement – whether learning from your industry peers or prospecting for new customers.

Networking events.

ASSETS, Lancaster Chamber, Lancaster City Alliance, and businesses like The Candy Factory all regularly host events aimed at connecting businesses in Lancaster. SCORE’s Roundtables are a great way to meet and engage with fellow entrepreneurs. Cultivate Lancaster is a biannual networking event held each year in January and May. Look for networking events posted on the Lancaster Entrepreneurs calendar.

Attend a Meetup. FIND A GROUP.

True to their name, meetups bring together individuals who share a common interest, with many featuring presentations and learning opportunities in addition to simply facilitating some old-fashioned networking. Similarly, there are many Facebook Groups dedicated to specific industries or communities (i.e. women-owned businesses) that exist to create a support network as you establish and grow you businesses.

Contact a trade organization.

Network with similar businesses by connecting with a trade association. Duke Street Business Center has a directory of national trade associations. Lancaster City Alliance helps Lancaster city merchants connect at monthly meetings. SCORE has Round Tables that connect businesses by location and by industry. Technology Council of Central PA host roundtables and conferences for those in the tech field.

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