Associations and trade organizations are great places to meet individuals. Usually, organizations have a common theme, and it is an understood implication that all members participate in improving themselves and their businesses.
Whether it is a chamber of commerce or a trade association, members have common problems, issues, and concerns. By sharing issues and resolutions, members can benefit from the experience of others. Many business owners participate in organizations, not only to network but also to hopefully circumvent some of the pitfalls encountered by other small professional servicing businesses--learning from others.
Many trade organizations provide forums for networking. In some cases, these might be private online newsgroups, casual meetings, or even professional events with speakers. In order to take full advantage of these networking opportunities consider these tips.
Who do You know?
It is often not who you know, but who they know. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen someone put-off someone who is clearly a beginner only to learn that the "beginner" is the brother or friend of a contact they've been trying to meet for weeks.