Edinburgh, Networking, Scotland

The Best (Online) Networking Events & Clubs to Join in Edinburgh & Scotland

Last updated: May 2022

Best online networking events and clubs to join in Edinburgh

Networking can be a powerful tool for your small business, but only if you choose the right events. I’ve used networking for several years now to grow my small business, so check out this list of my favourite (online) networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh and Scotland.

To make the decision easier for you, I have also included some further information about each event. This way you can pick and choose the ones that are most relevant to you.

Getting ready to boost your small business with some networking? Here’s my ultimate list of the best (online) networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh and Scotland!

PS: In this post, I’ve mainly focused on local events. But there are many more networking clubs and organisations that run events in Scotland. You can choose from referral-based groups that meet weekly (e.g. BNI, Network B2B) or larger franchises and membership organisations (e.g. 4N Networking, IoD, FSB).


Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (online & in-person events)

edinburgh chamber of commerce networking events

When: multiple events per month
Where: usually venues across Edinburgh or on Zoom
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: members only, price varies
Website: edinburghchamber.co.uk

When it comes to networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is a great choice. They offer support and advice, as well as lots of different networking events.

With a diverse range of events happening throughout each month, you’re sure to find something that catches your attention.

As well as informal mixers and coffee mornings, there’s speed networking, talks from key Edinburgh businesspeople and workshops, Q&As and seminars.

Look out for the Early Start event series. They’re great for new Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce members as they’re informal and allow you to meet a diverse range of people and businesses.

Find out about the 7 Lessons I’ve Learned in Business Networking.


Creative Mornings Edinburgh & Glasgow (in-person events)

Creative Mornings networking Edinburgh & Glasgow

When: last Friday of the month (Edinburgh), first Friday of the month (Glasgow)
Where: different venues across Edinburgh & Glasgow
Who: creative businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free tickets must be booked in advance
Website: creativemornings.com/cities/edi and creativemornings.com/cities/gla

Among the networking events & clubs to join in Scotland, these are events I can highly recommend for creatives and makers. Part of a global networking organisation, the Edinburgh and Glasgow chapters of Creative Mornings meet once a month, from 8.30-10am.

Each event has a different theme and an expert speaker, who presents a 20-minute talk on a thought-provoking subject.

As well as being able to listen to interesting talks, you’ll also have time to network with other local creative businesses over coffee and breakfast.

Creative Mornings’ mission is to “foster creative community” so they encourage you to make connections with like-minded people and share your ideas.


Edinburgh Connections (online & in-person events)

Edinburgh Connections networking club

When: multiple events per month
Where:
different venues across Edinburgh or on Zoom
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: everyone welcome, £125 annual membership
Website: edinburghconnections.co.uk

You may already be familiar with Coffee Connections and Curry Connections, two extremely popular networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh. Together with PBLink‘s Bart Kowalczyk, their founder Colin McKeand recently brought these events under the umbrella of Edinburgh Connections, a members-only networking club which brings local business people together.

For the £125 annual fee, members get access to a whole host of business networking events, networking workshops and the Edinburgh Business Show conference, as well as other benefits.

The networking workshops are particularly useful if you’re not very confident when it comes to networking, or are unsure how it will benefit your business. At the workshops, Colin shares his expertise on how to successfully make connections that will lead to more referrals or sales.


Small Biz, Big Chat (in-person events)

Small Biz Big Chat networking Glasgow

When: every 2nd Wednesday of the month
Where:
Willow Grove Cafe Edington Street, Glasgow
Who: female-led small businesses
Access: everyone welcome, £14 per ticket (incl. coffee/tea & fresh baking on arrival)
Website: Small Biz, Big Chat

Small Biz, Big Chat is an informal and relaxed networking event for female founders. It focuses on building a community and real, honest business chat, skill sharing, and non cringey networking.

It’s a lovely event with a monthly changing guest speaker sharing their expertise followed by lots of networking in small groups.

The event is run by photographer Rhiannon Louden and VA Emmelie Coulson who love supporting local independent businesses. No surprise then that their event takes place in one of Glasgow’s very own indie cafés ensuring coffee and tea and, most importantly, delicious handmade cake.


Coffee at the Castle (in-person & online events)

Coffee at the Castle networking Glasgow

When: every 1st Tuesday (in-person) & 3rd Tuesday (online)
Where:
different venues in Glasgow or on Zoom
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free tickets
Website: Eventbrite

Coffee at the Castle is a well-established virtual and in-person networking event that has grown significantly over the past couple of years. The event is run by Darren Christie and has a very supportive, fresh feel to it.

The events are always very well-attended and the community is active on LinkedIn and on WhatsApp as well. Members are there to support each other with advice and share their latest content.

If you’re looking for a fun group that doesn’t always take itself too seriously, look no further. And by alternating both in-person and online events, the community doesn’t just focus on Glasgow, but also includes businesses from further afield.


Edinburgh Businesswomen’s Club (in-person events)

Edinburgh Businesswomen's Club networking events

When: multiple events per month
Where: usually The Dome
Who: female business owners
Access: members and non-members welcome, free tickets must be booked in advance
Website: edinburghbusinesswomensclub.co.uk

Among the networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Businesswomen’s Club is the city’s longest-running networking club for women.

Their informal First Friday networking events (from 10am-12pm) offer the chance to chat with other women in business, over a cup of tea or coffee. Non-members are welcome to attend two First Friday events to get familiar with EBC; after that, individual membership is £60 per year.

The club also organises several other networking lunches, events and workshops, covering topics as varied as ‘how to do your self-assessment taxes’, to ‘how to offer gift wrapping for your customers’.


ConnectED (in-person events)

ConnectEd Networking Edinburgh

When: every Tuesday
Where: Hotel Indigo, 20 Princes St
Who: all types of local small businesses
Attendance: everyone welcome, free drop-in
Website: Eventbrite

ConnectED is a long-standing networking event that welcomes all kinds of businesses. Held every Tuesday morning from 8.30-10am, the events are free to attend, you don’t need to become a member, and you can drop in and out as you please.

Once a month, the event also includes a talk from a business expert. In the past, these have included practical skills and general business topics.

Amongst others, there were talks about an introduction to email marketing as well as combatting stress, anxiety and depression when you’re self-employed.


Creative Circles (in-person events)

Creative Edinburgh networking events

When: first and third Tuesday of the month
Where: The Melting Pot
Who:
creatives, makers and tech businesses
Access: members and non-members welcome, free drop-in
Website: creative-edinburgh.com

This is another one of the networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh with a focus on creatives. Creative Circles, a drop-in networking event, held between 8.30-10am, is organised by Creative Edinburgh.

It allows creative businesses of all kinds (whether you’re a jewellery maker, app developer or photographer) to connect, chat and collaborate.

Creative Circles also run other events for members and non-members, like Roundtable discussions and lightning talks.


No Ties Networking (available online)

No Ties Networking events Edinburgh

When: last Thursday of the month
Where: on Zoom
Who: all types of local small businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free to attend
Website: eventbrite.co.uk/notiesnetworking

If you enjoy networking with like-minded people in an informal and relaxed way, this is the networking event for you – and I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the organisers!

At No Ties Networking, you can make meaningful connections for your business. There’s also a speaker slot where monthly changing members talk about useful business skills, sharing tips and advice.

To encourage opportunities for real conversations and meaningful connections, attendee numbers are limited to 25. There are also at least two breakout rooms, so plenty of time for everyone to chat and get to know more about each other’s businesses.


Love Your Business (in-person events)

love your business edinburgh networking events

When: last Thursday of the month
Where: Black Ivy
Who: all types and sizes of businesses
Access: everyone welcome, tickets from £5.80
Website: eventbrite.co.uk/o/love-your-business

Run by Michelle Brown of Michelle Brown PR, at the Love Your Business monthly networking event she shares her knowledge of business, PR and marketing.

There are also inspirational guest speakers, workshops and plenty of opportunities for networking with other small business owners at the Love Your Business meetings.

This is a great one to try if you’re looking for networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh that offer amazing insights from guest speakers as well as fun, informal networking opportunities.


KEEP READING

To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
The Best Networking Events & Clubs to Join in Edinburgh
Where to Get Small Business Support in Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Best Co-Working Offices
Edinburgh’s Best Work-Friendly Cafés