Los Angeles is a perfect choice if you want a city with a vibrant tech and entrepreneurial community.
In a recent study of the top 20 networking cities in the US, Los Angeles ranked 3rd and accrued 59.3/100 points. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has 281,000 active businesses and employs over 100,000 people across all industries.
The city ranked 5th for the highest number of job openings. The average annual salary is $68,018, and the average hourly rate is $32.70. Los Angeles is a perfect choice if you want a city with a vibrant tech and entrepreneurial community.
In 2022, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Los Angeles was 1.06 trillion US dollars. The five main industries that fuel Los Angeles’s economy are:
- Film Industry
- Entertainment & Digital Media
You must be laser-focused on building a professional business network to succeed in the current fast-paced and competitive Los Angeles business landscape.
Here are expert tips on how to build a successful business network in Los Angeles
Attend Networking Events
Los Angeles stands out from other cities for its diverse business environment, which makes it ideal for hosting networking events.
Attending these events is not just about sharing your digital business card but strategically building meaningful connections that can advance your career and position your business for success.
Research upcoming networking events. Focus on those aligned with your industry or areas of interest.
Platforms like Eventbrite, Meetup, and industry-specific websites can help you find the most relevant networking events in Los Angeles.
Example: If you’re in the tech sector, consider attending events like the Silicon Beach Tech Mixer or the Innovate LA conference.
Here are some upcoming trade fairs and other networking events in Los Angeles.
- LA Market Week – January 8th – 9th, 2024 – California Market Center (CMC)
- Abilities Expo Los Angeles 2024 – March 15th – 17th, 2024 – Los Angeles Convention Center, Hall A
- Western Food Service & Hospitality Expo 2024 – August 25th – 27th, 2024 – Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 So. Figueroa Street
- Trade Mission to Los Angeles – August 28th -29th, 2024 – Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street
- 2024 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show – February 3rd – 4th, 2024 – Los Angeles Convention Center – Hall G&H, 1201 S Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90015
- 25th Annual Los Angeles Black College Expo – February 10th, 2024 – Los Angeles Convention Center (South Hall), 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Define your goals for attending each event. Whether it’s expanding your client base, finding potential collaborators, or seeking mentorship, having clear objectives will guide your interactions and make your attendance purposeful.
Example: If your goal is to find a mentor, approach the event with specific questions about mentorship and seek out professionals with experience in your industry.
Connect at Art Galleries and Exhibitions
Attending art events will help you connect with other professionals in the art industry. Attend gallery openings and exhibitions, and don’t just admire the art—use it as a conversation starter. Discuss the artistic process and find common ground with other attendees.
Example: Attend an art opening and start a conversation by asking about the inspiration behind a particular piece. This creates a memorable interaction beyond typical business talk.
Two of the best upcoming art events in Los Angeles include:
- One Masqurade Gala – January 13th, 2024 – Hollywood United Methodist Church, Franklin Avenue
- Valik Lapshin: Echoes of the Unseen Self – 21 Dec 2023 – 15 Feb 2024 – Art Axcess Gallery
Other art galleries that you can frequent during weekends and after work include:
- Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
- Hammer Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
- Artspace Warehouse
- Los Angeles Country Museum of Art
Attend Technology Conferences
Technology conferences will give you an opportunity to learn new technology in your industry and stay abreast of trends. Engage with exhibitors, participate in Q&A sessions, and attend after-parties.
Connect with speakers on social media beforehand and arrange to meet them during breaks. If you want to collaborate with them, prepare your pitch and share your details using the best digital business card to further pique their interest in you. The card will make you more memorable and prove to new connections that you are tech-savvy.
Example: Reach out to a speaker at the upcoming Techspo LA Technology Expo, expressing your interest in their topic. Arrange a coffee meeting to delve deeper into the subject and build a lasting connection.
Networking Hikes and Outdoor Activities
Incorporate fitness into your networking strategy. Join groups that align with your interests, whether hiking, biking, or beach yoga. These activities create a relaxed environment for meaningful connections.
Example: Join a hiking group and use the scenic backdrop to discuss business ideas. The casual setting fosters a more open and authentic conversation.
Some of the best hiking trails in Los Angeles are:
- Runyon Canyon Trail – Hollywood
- Griffith Observatory Hike – Griffith Park
- Eaton Canyon Trail – Pasadena
- Temescal Canyon Loop – Pacific Palisades
- Sandstone Peak Trail – Santa Monica Mountains
Before going for any hike, it is important to check the trail conditions, be prepared with the proper gear, and consider the difficulty level to match it with your experience and fitness.
Social Media Engagement
Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals you meet at events. Personalize connection requests with reference to the event and engage with their posts to stay on their radar.
For example, connect on LinkedIn and send a message referencing the event. Share relevant industry articles or comment on their posts to maintain an ongoing connection.
After the event, you can send them this message to start a conversation and schedule a follow-up meeting.
“Hello [Their Name], it was a pleasure meeting you at the [Event Name]! I enjoyed our conversation about [specific topic]. I believe our shared interests in [industry or topic] could lead to valuable discussions and collaborations. Looking forward to connecting further on LinkedIn.”
After the connection is accepted, follow up with a more detailed message. Express your appreciation for the connection and reiterate your interest in maintaining a professional relationship. This strategic follow-up message will set the tone for future interactions and collaborations.
“Thank you for connecting, [Their Name]! I truly enjoyed our discussion at [Event Name]. Your insights on [specific topic] were enlightening. I look forward to staying connected and perhaps exploring ways we can collaborate in the future. Feel free to reach out if there’s anything I can assist you with.”
Attend Hollywood Industry Mixers
Hollywood mixers are often crowded, so strategic planning is key. Identify key individuals you want to connect with and find out if they have any upcoming projects. Create a compelling elevator pitch tailored to the entertainment industry to express your interests and passion.
This could include producers, directors, writers, or professionals relevant to your niche. Utilize industry publications, online resources, and social media to create a list of individuals whose work aligns with your goals.
Example: If you’re aiming to connect with producers, research recent Hollywood productions and identify key figures behind successful projects. This background information will help you initiate conversations about mutual interests.
Tailor your elevator pitch to resonate with the entertainment industry. Capture your essence, expertise, and unique value proposition in a concise and compelling manner. Your elevator pitch should showcase your skills and highlight your passion for the industry.
Here is an example of an elevator pitch you can use to start a conversation with a film producer.
“Hi, I’m [Your Name], an emerging screenwriter with a passion for crafting compelling narratives that resonate with diverse audiences. I recently worked on [specific project], where I infused [unique element] to elevate the storyline. I’m here to connect with like-minded professionals and explore collaboration opportunities in the world of storytelling.”
Engage in Social Impact/Community Events
Social impact/community events provide a unique opportunity to build professional connections and contribute to meaningful causes in the community.
Don’t just attend; actively contribute. Join committees organizing the events or suggest innovative ways to maximize impact. This involvement sets you apart as a professional dedicated to business and social responsibility.
Example: Instead of just attending a charity gala, offer to assist in coordinating the event or sponsor a table, showcasing your commitment to making a difference.
Choose events that resonate with your personal and professional values. Whether it’s environmental sustainability, education, healthcare, or poverty alleviation, selecting causes that align with your beliefs ensures a more genuine and impactful involvement.
Example: If environmental sustainability is a key value, look for events focusing on eco-friendly initiatives or conservation efforts.
Demonstrate your commitment by offering sponsorship or financial support for the event. This will help the event financially and showcase your dedication to making a difference in the community.
Go a step further and identify how your professional skills can contribute to the event’s success. Whether it’s event management, marketing, public relations, or strategic planning, offering your expertise enhances the event’s overall effectiveness.
As you navigate the dynamic business landscape of Los Angeles, remember that building a robust professional network is not just a choice—it’s a strategic imperative. With the city’s vibrant tech scene, thriving entrepreneurial community, and diverse industries, your business network will be a gateway to endless possibilities.
Use the above tips to establish a successful business network in Los Angeles. Don’t be afraid of tweaking the strategies to continue growing your brand and advancing your career. Good luck!You may also like:
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