5 Events to Grow Your Network in The OC (Orange County, CA)

Photo Credit:  Studio Alani

Photo Credit: Studio Alani

Networking events are one of the best resources for finding community within your industry, connecting with mentors, exchanging tips & stories with local businesses, or finding new clients.


On top of that, networking events will force you out of your comfort zone, give you an opportunity to practice your elevator pitch & more often than not, get some sweet free drinks & treats!

In the past year of growing Cultivated Experiences, I have spent a lot of time researching & testing out networking events from Irvine & Costa Mesa down to Laguna Beach.

Between the new clients I was introduced to at networking events (7% of my new client business this year to be exact), the countless valuable advice I’ve gained from new mentors & friends in similar business stages & industries, & the special connections I’ve made to cool local event venues, I’ve seen a great ROI for the time spent at networking events this year.

 
As a start, I recommend setting a goal of attending at least 1 networking event a month & any of these 5 networking communities & event series below will be so worth your time:

Sourced Collective

Laguna Beach, CA
@sourced_collective
Co-working community plus dreamy event space by the beach where rad people work.
View the Events Calendar here.


SOURCED. always has a full events calendar of unique & fun events, such as their monthly Pop-Up Shop featuring local emerging contemporary artists, makers, & designers, to a Brush Lettering Workshop or Instagram for Business Bootcamp, just to name a few from the past 3 months alone.

 
Any SOURCED. event will connect you to their creative community that feels tight-knit because you’ll become BFFs with everyone instantly, but at the same time is actually a large diverse network of creative entrepreneurs, local service-providers & vendors that you can collaborate with.

Connecting Things

Irvine, CA
@connectingthings.co
Monthly event series for creatives & doers that promotes ideas, collaborations & creativity  
View the events calendar here.

 

Connecting Things unites the creative community of Orange County once a month (usually the first Wednesday) for an evening of networking in a laid back setting over pizza & kombucha.


With around 75+ people at each event, in addition to plenty of networking opportunities, each Connecting Things also features a panel discussion or Q&A session highlighting different local entrepreneurs & businesses as they exchange stories & resources on topics such as how they launched their business, to tips on how to be a great hire.

 

The New Girls Network

Laguna Beach, CA
@thenewgirlsnetwork
Soulful Badass Networking every third Thursday of the month – Women Only
View the events calendar here.

 

Everyone is familiar with the ‘Old Boys Club’. Well, the badass co-founders Summer & Niko have taken that concept & flipped it upside down to create The New Girls Network – a soulful badass networking group based on love, support, and lifting each other up.

What I love about the NGN is that each event is a smaller group of 20-30 women with well-established businesses from diverse industries. The smaller group creates an intimate & comfortable setting that makes it easy to connect with every person in the room and participate in the discussion - you’re guaranteed to leave every meeting feeling uplifted & inspired!

Ladies Wine & Design

Irvine, CA
@ladieswinedesign_irvine
A monthly salon night held for creative women - Women Only
View the events calendar here.

 
LW&D is a monthly meeting of creative ladies discussing different topics on creativity, business & life, with a mission to empower women & non-binary creatives through mentorship circles, portfolio reviews, talks, and creative meetups.


With each meeting limiting to a more intimate group of ~30 women, LW&D of Irvine has fostered a tight community & no intimidation atmosphere at each meeting where attendees can feel comfortable enough to exchange stories, ask questions & leave each event feeling as confident as ever.

If the spots for next month’s event are filled up, the community also hosts a group Slack channel where members can share resources, Spotify playlists & ask questions on anything- even if it’s asking what shoes to wear to a job interview. 

Creative Mornings

@cm_orangecounty 
Orange County, CA
Monthly breakfast series for the creative community.
View the events calendar here.


Free coffee & an interesting discussion from a local business leader – is there a better way to start the day?

Creative Mornings is a breakfast series for the creative community featuring a 20 minute talk led by local business leaders. The talks are always informative & relatable no matter what stage of your career, as they connect business to topics such as anxiety, curiosity or community.  

Each event starts early at 7:30am – so you have time to attend before heading to the office!





Interested in hosting your own networking event?
Cultivated Experiences can help you get started. Learn more here.

Nicole Prybula