Networking Groups and Associations for Executives in the US and Canada
For executives, career growth opportunities are available via association memberships, executive recruiters, and strong networks of colleagues and partners. As an executive, you build a strong factual knowledge of your industry, while also creating relationships with decision-makers in your niche, the overall industry, and the related industries.
I wrote earlier about building relationships with executive recruiters and expanding your network via LinkedIn. In this article, I list some executive networking groups and associations, and ways to choose the best association for you.
Executive association membership is an investment of your time and money. Choose an organization that will give you the highest value for your effort. This would ideally be the association where you would want to be active, offer your expertise, and attend events to meet colleagues.
How to choose and engage with an executive association
Consider the following questions:
— Does the association run reputable conference(s) and events you would like to attend, potentially every year?
— Are these events varied or relatively repetitive?
— Does the association provide opportunities to publish your contributions via its media?
— How many members and readers, approximately, does the organization serve?
— Does it offer webinars, networking events, or branch meetings often and on varied topics?
— Does the association charge extra for activities or are they included in the price of your membership?
— Does it offer certifications and leadership development programs that are widely recognized?
Before signing up, look for or ask the current association members or leaders to see examples of forum discussions, newsletters, webinars, journals, or other association publications. Take a look at the member profiles in the online directory. If you would like to gain more visibility through a member directory listing, ask the association leaders about site statistics and how many visits it normally gets.
Once you have researched and joined an association, network actively: introduce yourself to its leaders, attend webinars, follow up with the presenters to tell them what you enjoyed about the webinar, schedule your own presentations, attend networking events, invite members to introductory Zoom meetings or lunches, and publish your contributions.
Consider assessing your memberships on an annual basis. There may be associations where you would like to be a member for years, while you could use others strategically to gain insights.
Here are some examples of associations in the US and Canada to consider.
Executive Networking Groups and Associations in the US
Association for Corporate Growth – Chicago, IL
C200 (women business leaders) – Chicago, IL
A Global Professional Women’s Network | Ellevate – New York, NY, Toronto, ON
The Forum of Executive Women – Fort Washington, PA
International Women’s Forum – Washington, DC
Women Corporate Directors – US and worldwide
CIO Roundtable – US
CISO Executive Network – Hunt Valley, MD
Financial Executives Networking Group – Weston, CT
National Association of Corporate Directors – Washington, DC
Society for Information Management – Mont Laurel, NJ
TechExecs Network – Sugar Land, TX
Executive Networking Groups and Associations in Canada
CSAE Networks: Canadian Society of Association Executives – Toronto, ON (and regional chapters)
Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) – Toronto, ON
WXN: Women’s Executive Network – Toronto, ON
Councils of Human Resources Executives – Ottawa, ON
Additional organizations for businesswomen in Canada
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