Looking to get more involved, make new friends, sharpen your skills, or just get out of the house?
Meetup groups are a great way to do just that. They’re often casual, and populated by like-minded folks. In other words, they’re a fabulous way to spend your time.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from the Queen City and beyond, sorted loosely by industry, and each blurb gives a brief overview of the meetup, its purpose, target audience and typical offerings.
Interested in more tech and startup programming around the Queen City? Check out our monthly Inno Approved calendar, which curates a list of events we think you’ll love — all in one spot.
- Girl Develop It Cincinnati: “Don’t be shy — develop it” is this national nonprofit’s tagline, and its chapters look to help participating women of all skillsets do just that. “Our vision is to create a network of empowered women who feel confident in their abilities to code and build beautiful web and mobile applications,” it states. “By teaching women around the world from diverse backgrounds to learn software development, we can help women improve their careers and confidence in their everyday lives.” Events include its monthly Code & Coffee meetup and intro classes on subjects like HTML.
- TechLife Cincinnati: This group of more than 3,400 professionals looks to connect those working in the tech industry within the TriState Region. “The Circuit, Cincinnati’s IT association, has teamed with other technology groups to let techies know about the great technology group meetings, educational events and networking opportunities in our region,” its event description states, and as such the group offers a host of monthly meetings on a variety of tech-focused subjects.
- WWCode Cincinnati: This global nonprofit is “dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology.” One of the largest collective of women engineers on the planet, WWC caters to women of varying skillsets, from first-time coders to those looking to increase established ability. Its events include hack nights, career development opportunities, study groups and guest speakers. Don’t forget to bring your laptop!
- Gaslight Coffee: Weekly Open House: Head over to software developement firm Gaslight for a free hot beverage of your choice (coffee, latte or tea) and good discussion. “No slides, no agenda,” it states in its description. “The group topics range from technology to movies to design to video games.”
BONUS: Looking to learn to code? We’ve highlighted a few places in our guide, below.
Internet of Things/Machine Learning
- Cincy Internet of Things: This group is for those interested in discussing and learning about IoT. It offers second-Thursday-of-every-month meetings (“All Things IoT,” at Union Hall) focused on a specific topic (its most recent was “What Is Time-Series Data and Why Should I Care?“).
- Cincinnati Machine Learning Meetup: “Are you pumped about learning how to use machine learning algorithms to parse data and make estimations and predictions of that dataset?” Then the Cincinnati-based CMLM group is for you. This group wants to equip attendees with knowledge of new techniques and best practices while giving them the opportunity to network.
- User Enjoyment UX Meetup: It’s mission is simple: “The User Enjoyment meetup is for those want to create a more enjoyable experience for their users/customer/tribe,” it states. “We believe that if we focus on user enjoyment then the problems of user adoption simply go away.” To that end, the UEUX group is for everyone from entrepreneurs and project managers to students (both formal and eternal) and hackers. The group’s events are discussion-based, and cover a range of UX and design topics.
- Creative Juice for Creative Businesses: This group is for those struggling with the creative elements of their enterprise. “These meetings will specifically address the issues that we creative entrepreneurs struggle with, including business-y stuff, marketing and social media,” it states. The group also focuses specifically on inter-group support and positivity. Of its many events, the most consistent is its “Creative Juice Monday Morning Meetings” program.
- Interaction Design Association: Interaction designers of all levels are encouraged to share knowledge, ask questions and meet other like-minded professionals at their monthly meetings, which occur on the third Thursday of the month at various, sponsor-hosted locations around the city.
- Product Tank: This meetup group is for Cincinnati-based product mangers, giving them an opportunity to swap ideas and wisdom about leadership, product design, user experience and more. “We’re open to companies big and small,” it states. “We also welcome early-stage technology businesses looking to learn how to get their ideas off the ground.” Its event offerings include annual conferences in San Francisco and London, guest speakers and networking opportunities.
- Cincinnati’s Black Professionals: In 2014, an Ethiopian immigrant came to the U.S., and once there, wanted establish greater relationships within the African-American community; the CBP was born. Now, the group continues to do just that. “We all come from different walks of life, but we are all professionals, and our goal as a group is very simple: to get to know one another and expand our network of friends,” its event description states. The group hosts networking events, lunch and learns, karaoke, happy hours, and more, and looks to support black businesses in the greater Cincinnati area and support entrepreneurship in the black community.
- Cincinnati Entrepreneurs Putting Dreams into Action: Tired of living your entrepreneurial best life only in your head? Then CEPDiA is for you! It’s a group of “success-minded” professionals wanting to get things done. “We are looking to expand our networks and our knowledge,” its group description states. “We want take our lives back by working ON our businesses, not IN them.” It offers monthly events like “6 Steps to a Better Business” and “5 Ways to Massive Profits,” as well as opportunities for professional coaching.
- Generation NOW Cincinnati Network Meetup: This group wants to establish a “progressive network of young professionals” and ultimately inspire them to invest in, create and thrive in Cincinnati. “We recognize that in order to accomplish our goal we have to create an atmosphere conducive for growth, a lifestyle suited for progress, and diversity that breaks down barriers to go along with the numerous corporate opportunities that our beloved city has to offer,” it states. Participants are professionals age 21-40, and its monthly events include volunteer programs, panel discussions and speaker series.
- Cincinnati Marketing Professionals: CMP is a network of more than 60,000, greater Cincinnati’s largest marketing group on Meetup.com. As its title suggests, it caters to those in the marketing industry and focuses on the American Marketing Associations yearly events — such as leadership-building opportunities, forums and more.
- H7 Connect: “We believe no businessperson should have to ‘do business’ alone,” it states. “That’s why we have built an authentic community of over 800 business professionals with nearly 50 locations across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.” It does this by hosting networking events and forums for professionals of all stripes. This particular chapter is based in Newport, KY.
- Small Biz Growth Forum: This group wants to encourage its professional attendees to step back from their own enterprises and engage with other Queen City businesses and resources. It offers monthly meetings at different restaurants and taprooms around Cincinnati to do just that, inviting small business and lending groups to come “present their stories and services.”
- #StartupCincy Lean Startup Circle: This group is for entrepreneurs and other professionals looking to either bring their business to the next level or launch their own. It emphasizes the tenets of the Lean Start-up movement (build, measure, learn) and regularly uses meetups to discuss ways to employ this method and how attendees can grow their enterprises. The group hosts monthly events, like fireside chats, discussions and presentations.
- Unpolished: Founded by members of the Crossroads Church community, Unpolished looks to help participants both balance and integrate faith and entrepreneurship. “The goal of this collaborative effort is to encourage, connect and engage entrepreneurs at all levels (from aspiring to established) within Cincinnati and the Crossroads community,” its website states. It hosts regular events with guest speakers, as well as as an annual national conference.
- Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals — Cincinnati: “Our mission is to eliminate poverty housing by providing young professionals with opportunities to volunteer, advocate and network with other positively minded young professionals,” its group description states. “We strive to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope while having fun in the process!” Fundraisers, fun runs and monthly volunteer work are all on its event docket, and interested volunteers must email group leadership to participate.