Networking, Scotland

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

Last updated: January 2021

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.

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!


7 Networking Events & Clubs to Join in Edinburgh: edinburgh chamber of commerceEdinburgh Chamber of Commerce (available online)

When: multiple events per month
Where: usually venues across Edinburgh, now on Zoom
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: members only, price varies (free during lockdown)
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 Chamber Tea Break (held every other Friday at 10.30am). 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.


7 Networking Events and Clubs to Join in Edinburgh: creative mornings EdinburghCreative Mornings Edinburgh (available online)

When: last Friday of the month
Where: usually venues across Edinburgh, now on Zoom
Who: creative businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free tickets must be booked in advance
Website: creativemornings.com/cities/edi

Among the networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh, this is one I can highly recommend for creatives and makers. Part of a global networking organisation, the Edinburgh chapter of Creative Mornings meets 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 (available online)

Edinburgh Connections networking club

When: multiple events per month
Where:
usually venues across Edinburgh, now 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.


Central Networking Club 100 (available online)

Central Networking Club 100

When: every 2nd & 4th Tuesday
Where:
Zoom
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free tickets
Website: eventbrite.co.uk/central-belt-business-events

Having run a successful face-to-face networking event in Perth, organiser Andrew Stewart created the Central Networking Club 100 to help business owners in Scotland meet other business owners during the pandemic.

The free event takes place twice a month and is a great way to make new contacts, catch up with fellow business owners and have some fun.

Each event has a unique spin on how people interact; chat rooms, networking roulette, discussions on current topics in the business world and participant’s presentations all feature.


7 Networking Events and Clubs to Join in Edinburgh: edinburgh businesswomen club networkingEdinburgh Businesswomen’s Club (available online)

When: multiple events per month
Where: usually The Dome, now online
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’.


7 Networking Events and Clubs to Join in Edinburgh: connect ED networkingConnectED (available online)

When: every Tuesday
Where: usually The Courtyard Marriott, now on Zoom
Who: all types of local small businesses
Attendance: everyone welcome, free drop-in
Website: twitter.com/connect_edi

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.


7 Networking Events and Clubs to Join in Edinburgh: creative circles edinburghCreative Circles (available online)

When: first and third Tuesday of the month
Where: usually at Codebase & Custom Lane, now on Zoom
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 a Creative Circles Leith event (which takes place at Custom Lane), in addition to their existing networking event at Codebase.


7 Networking Events and Clubs to Join in Edinburgh: No Ties NetworkingNo Ties Networking (available online)

When: last Thursday of the month
Where: usually Bread Street Brasserie, now 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.


Ladies, Wine & Design Edinburgh (available online)

ladies wine design edinburgh

When: monthly, dates and times vary
Where: usually multiple venues, now on Zoom
Who: female creatives
Access: open to all
Website: ladieswinedesign.com/edinburgh

The concept of Ladies, Wine & Design Edinburgh is simple. A group of creative women get together, enjoy a couple of glasses of wine and talk about business, life, creativity and everything in between. If you aren’t into traditional, formal networking events, this could be the perfect Edinburgh networking event for your small business.

The group is very open-minded and inclusive, and all you have to do to join is send them an email (to [email protected]).

Each event is led by organiser Fee Sheal and a guest creative. Some events are just straightforward talks, where the guest speaker will share their own experiences to kick off the chat. Others are more like practical workshops, where you can have a go at everything from bookbinding to sign painting.


Love Your Business (available online)

love your business edinburgh networking events

When: last Thursday of the month
Where: usually Black Ivy, now on Zoom
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.


The following events are currently not offering online video networking, but are definitely worth a look once we’re allowed to do in-person networking events again:


E2N Networking

e2n networking edinburgh

When: last Tuesday of the month, 8.00-9.30am
Where: Hotel Indigo Princes Street, Edinburgh
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free tickets booked in advance via Eventbrite

Another one of the great networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh is the E2N Networking series, which takes place on the last Tuesday of every month.

Run by Lorna Walls from Accurate Organiser, and Brendan Walsh of the Hawthorn Business Group, this free event is useful for all small businesses – particularly those focused on marketing, sales and business consultancy.

At each event, there is an E2N Monthly Talk, where an inspiring business person will share their story and their tips on growing your small businesses. In addition to the talk, there will also be time to chat with all the other attendees with a cup of tea or coffee.


LGBT+ Professional Connections

lgbt professional connections

When: last Thursday of the month
Where: Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Who: all types of local businesses, particularly the LGBT+ community
Access: everyone welcome, free tickets must be booked in advance
Website: eventbrite.co.uk/o/kenneth-murphy

Whether you’re part of the LGBT+ community yourself or would like to learn how to make your business more accessible for LGBT+ customers, this new networking event run by Kenneth Murphy is a fantastic one to attend.

As well as networking with other local LGBT+ professionals, each attendee will get a two-minute slot to introduce their business to the group.

At each meeting, there will also be a topic of discussion, focused around LGBT+ issues, to help everyone learn and share experiences to create a more inclusive business community in Edinburgh.


Strathmore Breakfast

strathmore networking breakfast

When: third Thursday of the month
Where: Strathmore
Who: all types and sizes of local businesses
Access: free drop-in event
Website: strathmoreedinburgh.com

Another one of my favourite networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh is the Strathmore Breakfast Networking event, which takes place from 9am to 10.30am on the third Thursday of the month.

Strathmore, a serviced office and co-working space in the city centre, offer an informal drop-in networking event over breakfast – arrive early to grab one of the delicious bagels from Bross Bagels!

Everyone is welcome to attend the events, whether you’re a Strathmore tenant or not, so you’ll be able to make connections with a wide range of Edinburgh professionals.



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