Career, Community|

Professional Groups in Bend for Networking, Growing Your Business, or Job Searching

Joining one of the many professional networks in Bend, Oregon, can benefit individuals seeking to grow their businesses or advance their careers. These groups offer various advantages, such as networking opportunities and access to a community of like-minded individuals. Thus, providing opportunities to expand your prospects.

With numerous professional groups in Central Oregon, many cater to various industries and interests. Networking and professional groups offer an ideal platform to connect with others in your field, find job leads, and collaborate.

How do I find networking groups in Bend, Oregon?

One of the significant advantages of joining a professional group is the opportunity it provides for networking. You’ll have access to events where you can meet new people who share similar interests and established leaders in the community. Consequently, this exposure can lead to valuable connections to propel your career forward.

Furthermore, by becoming part of a network, you’ll be able to learn from others’ experiences. Here, you can gain insights into how they navigate similar professional challenges.

And, by joining a professional group, you’ll have access to useful resources. These can include training materials and workshops geared towards skill development that may not be available elsewhere. Below, we’ll share eight peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities and professional networks in Bend, Oregon.

1. Bend Chamber of Commerce

The Bend Chamber of Commerce is a well-established organization that offers a variety of benefits to its members. And, it’s the first place to go for professional networks in Bend, Oregon.

For individuals looking to network, the Bend Chamber is a great option. They host regular events and programs where members can connect and build relationships with other professionals in the area.

Additionally, the Bend Chamber offers advocacy and resources to help members grow their businesses. For example, access to business development tools, marketing opportunities, and educational workshops.

black and white photo of people gathered on a deck networking for an event
Bend Chamber is the ultimate professional network in Bend, Oregon.

By joining the Bend Chamber, individuals can take advantage of the many resources and opportunities in this dynamic organization, including job search and networking.

2. Central Oregon Association of Realtors

The Central Oregon Association of Realtors (COAR) is a professional organization that represents the real estate industry in the Bend area. COAR provides resources and advocacy for its members, helping them to grow their businesses in the competitive real estate market.

Additionally, COAR offers a variety of networking opportunities. Such options include events, committees, and councils where members can connect and build relationships with other industry professionals. And, COAR provides educational resources and training opportunities to its members. In turn, this can help them stay current with the latest industry trends and practices.

3. Bend Young Professionals

The Bend Young Professionals (Bend YP) is a dynamic organization that provides networking opportunities, professional development, and social events to young professionals in the Bend area. Bend YP hosts regular events and programs for members to connect with other young professionals. Subsequently, members have the chance to build relationships across a variety of industries.

woman talks with others at a professional network in bend, oregon
Connect with professionals aged 18-40 with Bend YP.

The organization also provides professional development opportunities like mentorship programs and workshops. Further, their leadership training can help young professionals to grow their skills and advance their careers.

Bend YP’s social events allow members to meet new people and expand their networks. For individuals looking to find a new job, BYP can be a valuable resource, providing access to job postings, resume-building workshops, and other career resources.

4. EDCO & Pub Talk

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a non-profit organization that supports economic growth and development in the Central Oregon region. EDCO provides a variety of services to its members, including access to capital, business resources, and networking opportunities. For businesses looking to grow, EDCO offers mentorship programs, educational resources, and funding opportunities that support business growth.

One of the popular events hosted by EDCO is Pub Talk, which provides a forum for entrepreneurs and business leaders to connect, share ideas, and gain insights into the latest trends in the industry. These events, often hosted at local breweries, also feature presentations from successful entrepreneurs and investors. Here, they share experiences and insights on topics such as fundraising, marketing, and growth strategies.

three people hold up a big check in front of the tower theater in downtown bend oregon
EDCO hosts the largest angel conference in the Pacific Northwest.

Pub Talk events provide an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and business leaders to learn from others in their field, make connections, and gain valuable insights into the industry. Attendees can also gain exposure to potential investors and business partners, which can help them to grow their businesses and achieve their goals.

5. ConnectW

ConnectW is a professional organization that provides networking and professional development opportunities for women in the Bend area. The organization is committed to advancing women’s careers and empowering them to achieve their goals. ConnectW offers a variety of programs and events, including networking opportunities, mentorship programs, educational workshops, and social events.

women gather around a table in a library discussing the benefits of flexible work spaces

ConnectW also provides resources and support to help women grow their businesses and succeed in the competitive job market. ConnectW’s membership is diverse, with members representing various industries, including business, healthcare, nonprofit, and education.

6. Cultivate Bend

Cultivate Bend strives to create a vibrant ecosystem for the natural products CPG (consumer packaged goods) sector throughout Central Oregon. Having gone through a two-year transition period during the pandemic, they respond to the specific needs of Central Oregon’s ever-growing pool of entrepreneurs, operators, and leaders. This involves catering to individuals from all backgrounds, such as geographic, gender, racial, ethnic, and cultural.

With its rebirth, Cultivate Bend is offering a new round of founding memberships. Cultivate encourages individuals to join who are tenacious and ambitious with an entrepreneurial mindset. The group is focused on people and businesses located in Central Oregon (or those considering moving their business here.)

7. Opportunity Knocks

Opportunity Knocks (OK) is a peer-to-peer mentorship organization that connects professionals in the Bend area with business leaders and entrepreneurs. OK provides a platform for professionals to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects. Simultaneously, the organization provides access to resources and educational opportunities. OK hosts various events, such as quarterly mixers, that allow members to network and connect with local professionals.

OK members are business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and key personnel who seek growth on both the personal and business levels. Together, they share a common appreciation for development and progress. Challenges energize them and they love to examine novel ideas, deliberate choices and put strategies into action—all essential components of both achieving excellence in life and boosting success in business.

Participation involves a monthly three-hour team meeting that emphasizes collaboration and dynamism. OK members are committed to confidentiality, as the shared information can be sensitive or proprietary. Members are carefully selected for each of the niche groups, while prospective members are welcome to attend social networking events.

8. The Haven Coworking

The Haven Coworking is more than just a workspace. Our coworking space is a community of like-minded individuals passionate about their work and committed to supporting one another. Members of The Haven Coworking have access to a variety of resources and amenities, including meeting rooms and Bend’s fastest Wi-Fi.

Here, we offer an array of intangible membership perks like a built-in network of professionals, monthly happy hour networking events, and a chance to build meaningful relationships with other Bend-area professionals.

Group of people holding drinks at a professional network in bend, oregon.
It’s always happy hour at The Haven’s professional networking events!

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, The Haven Coworking can provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional office space, with flexible membership options that allow for growth and flexibility as business needs change. The Haven’s Social memberships allow people to take advantage of the networking aspect, along with a handful of coworking hours.

Joining Professional Networks in Bend, Oregon

By attending meetings and networking events hosted by these groups, you can connect with other professionals in your field or industry. These professionals may have insights or resources to help you grow your business or advance your career. In addition to networking opportunities, many professional groups also offer educational programs and workshops designed to help members develop new skills.

Ultimately, these professional groups can be valuable if you’re looking for ways to differentiate yourself from competitors or build expertise. Whether you’re starting out in your career or are already established, joining a professional group in Bend, Oregon, is an investment worth making.

Not only will it give you access to valuable resources and connections, but it will provide opportunities for personal growth and development that can be mutually beneficial.

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