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Top 5 Fall Networking Events in the Bay Area

Tis the season for business networking events! Autumn is a time for new beginnings, and this season’s top networking events are as diverse as the Bay Area itself. Sometimes it’s not the lack of events and opportunities in your area that stop you from networking- it’s that there are too many to choose from, and you need a little help narrowing them down. We’re happy to share our top 5 favorites for this fall. Happy networking!

1. RHR Fall Networking Event

This business networking event, which happens quarterly, has a new host this year. It’s an excellent opportunity to network in a setting that is both social and structured.
This business networking event, which happens quarterly, has a new host this year. It’s an excellent opportunity to network in a setting that is both social and structured. Image by

Thanks to an organization called TopFunnel, who will be hosting the RHR Fall Networking Event event, the event will be even better this year. RHR usually normally follows a social format- and the good news is, that’s not changing. But in conjunction with the regular routine, this year’s event will feature a rotational sequence of informative, interactive RoundTable Discussions that encourage focused brainstorming. It’s a direct opportunity to ask the leaders and professionals in your industry all your specific questions, and have them answered from multiple perspectives. These RoundTable Discussions will be moderated by RHR members and TopFunnel’s HR leadership, adding even more diversity to this quarterly Bay Area networking event.

The evening kicks off right- with Happy Hour, which doubles as a chance to move freely about and begin networking. As we’ve strongly emphasized in previous blog posts, we recommend creating a list of your top questions before you arrive at the event. Asking questions that are aligned with your specific goals for a networking event optimizes your opportunities. Also, if you are already aware of a guest whom you would like to speak with,

You’ll not only be armed with conversation starters (and some extra confidence), but you’ll be actively implementing your own professional development- making the most out of an event like this, which has plenty of opportunities for social and professional networking. We particularly like the RHR Fall Networking Event because it gives guests opportunities to network in both a social and structured setting- especially this year.

This is one event that doesn’t leave you to your own devices- at least not for too long. After Happy/Networking hour, there will be intros and the Round Table Kick-off, which gives you the chance to be seen and heard before engaging in focused discussions with other attendees. The event closes out with another opportunity for freeform networking. Since you’ll know know more about the other guests and their specialities/backgrounds, this round of networking has the potential to be even more successful than the first.

The Rotating RoundTable Discussions will be set up like this: There will be three large, moderated tables, and one group per table. One table will be exploring ways to get leadership buy-in to Diversity and Inclusion efforts/quotes in recruiting. Another table will be discussing strategies to increase staffing in a limited amount of time. The third table will focus on helping your Hiring Manager develop superior recruitment skills.

The RHR Fall Networking Event is moderated by Bay Area leaders in marketing, tech, engineering, and HR. Doreen Ghafari, Head of People at TopFunnel, is credited with growing TopFunnel’s go-to-market, engineering, and operations teams in San Francisco and other remote teams across the world.

Stacy Smith is the seasoned Technical Recruiter and Founder of Rocket Juice Consulting, which helps startups develop professionally. The consulting firm also works with Hiring Managers to improve hiring and interview techniques. Smith has over 10 years of recruiting experience, and has worked with top companies across the nation such as SpaceX, Butler Aerospace and Defense, Harbor Inc. Loft Orbital, and Omnicell.

Irene Batista is the HR manager at Edelman, which has over 200 employees in their local offices. Batista oversees HR Operations, Inclusion and Diversity, and Employee Engagement for the Digital, Creative, Intelligence, and Tech PR teams.

If you think the RHR Fall Networking Event is for you, we recommend registering now, as the event happens soon!


Tuesday, Sept. 24th, 2019

5:30 to 7:30 PM

95 Federal St.

San Francisco, CA

2. Bay Area Startup & Entrepreneur: Networking Social Mixer

This one’s important. It recognizes the presence of a new generation of professionals with groundbreaking talents- and unique challenges to business networking and getting started. There is no singular, traditional rules of operation for entrepreneurship; nor is there a universal blueprint for starting one’s own business, building a network, and establishing oneself in one’s industry. Fortunately, the Bay Area does recognize that the world’s entrepreneurs need a strong support system- and as many local business networking opportunities as possible.

Undoubtedly with this in mind, this social networking mixer was born. It was created for tech entrepreneurs but is open to all, as all business owners stand to benefit from knowledge about how to use optimize their technology for success. As we all know, technology is constantly evolving in most industries, and the presence of new technologies impacts every area of professional development- from hiring and recruitment to leadership and marketing. So this is an event for both seasoned pros and new entrepreneurs looking to build their network and glean business networking tips from experienced entrepreneurs and industry leaders and influencers.

Needless to say, this meetup is an ideal opportunity for new entrepreneurs to pitch their startups. So if you’ve got an idea for a tech startup you want to turn into reality, now’s the time to make valuable, career-boosting connections with prominent tech influencers in the Bay Area and beyond. Think of it this way: Best case scenario, you acquire a business partner or sponsor to help you start making your vision a reality. But even if you pitch your startup and don’t come away with a partner or sponsor, you’re actively putting yourself on the scene and making connections that could open doors for you in the near future. You’re also taking the initiative to find new mentors who can be real assets to your career as it grows.

The Bay Area is a wellspring of tech innovation and creativity; there is very likely somebody out there whose visions and ideas are aligned with yours. Maybe the connections you make at this meetup will lead you to a potential partner, sponsor, or mentor. Or perhaps you’ll meet someone who has experience working with a technology that you want to acquire for your business. If you’re in a rut or can’t seem to get your business off the ground, networking events like this one can help you gain insights into new strategies. At the very least, you’ll go home with new ideas, perspectives, and networking tips to help you succeed.

We like the sound of this event for many reasons, but we especially love that it encourages an action-oriented, goal-getting mentality. Entrepreneurs need more than the right connections and resources- they also need an attitude that fosters leadership, and meetups like this help give them the confidence they need.


Thurs., Oct. 3rd, 2019

6:00 PM- 9:00 PM


685 3rd St.

San Francisco, CA

3. Women Designing Tech

Women Designing Tech takes on the ambitious- but vital- goal of paving the way for the next generation of diverse professionals.
Women Designing Tech takes on the ambitious- but vital- goal of paving the way for the next generation of diverse professionals. Image by

It’s a well-known fact that cultivating diversity in tech and business is a powerful focus in the San Francisco area. Thus, it’s easy to see why Women Designing Tech is one of this fall’s most talked-out networking events in Bay Area news. Hosted by AIGA SF’s Women in Leadership and Design (WILD), this inspiring event is an extension of WILD’s initiative to increase gender parity in design.

The consumer population for modern products and services is rapidly diversifying- but this event openly recognizes that tech and other emergent industries aren’t. (At least not at the rate that is needed to keep up with a diverse range of consumers, who want to see representation for women and cultural diversity in the tech industry). The need for inclusivity and diversity in the workforce is growing, and women in this generation are paving the way for the next generation of women who design tech.

Women Designing Tech features four inspiring female leaders who are thriving in the current limited environment, and are using innovation to make space for women and minorities in the tech industry. There will be important discussions about how to break into the industry as a female designer, how to design innovative products and services for an inclusive range of consumers, and how to market toward diversity. According to its event page, Women Designing Tech takes on the inspiring, holistic goal of figuring out “how to design a new world for the next generation of diverse professionals”. Considering the fact that the tech industry shapes professional development worldwide, this is an extremely important and relevant goal.

This event will be moderated by Daria Gonzalez, the founder and CEO of Wunderdogs, a distributed branding agency with American leadership and European design. She is a particularly intriguing influence because of her successful experience integrating her business across continents. She is also a former early-stage investor at GVA.

The featured speakers at Women Designing Tech are corporately diverse and experienced in working with some of the largest, male-dominated corporations of the modern world. Michelle Kim, for example, is senior product designer at JUUL Labs. She recently worked in gaming tech and healthcare tech, and was previously affiliated with FinTech. As her impressive history suggests, she is passionate about improving and diversifying tech in healthcare and fitness industries.

Maggie Connors is the founder and CEO of besito, which is known as “the world’s most beautiful cannabis vaporizer”. Before founding her own company based on a personal passion and vision, she worked in brand management at Pepsi, Starbucks, and Apple. She is an exciting addition to the panel for obvious reasons, but we’re especially interested in her branding expertise and experience with some of the largest corporations in the world. We expect that she has unique insights on not only brand management, but corporate trends regarding women and minorities. If we don’t have insider info on how the companies dominating the tech world work to help and hinder diversity, how will we know what we can do to move toward inclusivity? At this exciting Bay Area networking event, we glean her wisdom regarding the best ways to strategize and work toward a more diverse tech industry.

Phnam Bagley is another impressive panelist. She is an industrial designer who runs an agency called Nonfiction, which is based in San Francisco. Her self-proclaimed job is to “turn science fiction into reality to create a better future for us all”. Bagley herself is living proof that women designing tech are a brilliant, innovative population which enhances tech across industries.

As an Associative Creative Director at Turo, Ericka Ames offers another creative perspective on tech design. She is an experienced, talented graphic designer specializing in print, marketing, packaging, web, motion graphics, and UI. Considering the fact that the emerging experiential marketing trend relies heavily on graphics and web design, Ames’s knowledge and expertise is invaluable to women on the cutting edge of the tech industry.

The Vice President of product at Enklu, Heather Gallagher is helping build a new digital canvas and ecosystem for future creators and innovators. Before joining the Enklu team, Gallagher spent sixteen years leading technology and design services at Burning Man. Not only is she a leader in tech, but she has helped cultivate a once-outcasted populations of artists and entertainers, giving them a platform upon which to share their talents with the world. Anyone interested in arts and entertainment in any capacity can appreciate this woman’s contribution to diversifying the field. As we all know, Burning Man is not just a California dream brought to life by innovation and technology- it’s a global icon that attracts participants worldwide.

4. Networking in Nature

Networking in Nature is a refreshing, holistic alternative to the average business networking event.
Networking in Nature is a refreshing, holistic alternative to the average business networking event. Image by

Tired of stuffy municipal spaces that require formal wear and a high tolerance for bad coffee? Consider a refreshing alternative: Networking in Nature, literally. This one applies to healthcare consultants, holistic practitioners, coaches, and other service-based business owners. What better setting is there to learn about health and holism than a natural space?

There is a special focus on business networking for conscious entrepreneurs whose business practices are aligned with conserving the environment and human health on a body/mind level.

Meeting like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners can be a challenge. When you’re just starting out- or even if your business has been established for a while- it can seem like you can’t afford to choose mentors, partners, and sponsors whose values are aligned with your own. But luckily for people who live in the Bay Area, this region is full of conscious networking opportunities if you take time to look for them. We like to bring these kinds of events to attention whenever we can, so when we stumbled upon this hidden networking gem, we just had to include it on our list.

In our society, there is a tendency to base our individual and collective worth on our productivity. But entrepreneurship comes with a lot of responsibility. So when there’s no time for self-care and health maintenance, which includes doing things we enjoy, it’s easy to become burnt out. And when we’re burnt out, we enter a vicious cycle in which the body and mind overcompensates by heightening its reaction to the stress of it all. Depleted stress responses and physical exhaustion don’t exactly lend themselves to productivity, either. So how do professionals and entrepreneurs maintain productivity and quality of life?

That question is taken into true consideration at this networking event, making it one you won’t want to miss if you work in any healthcare or service-related industry. It’s an enriching opportunity to meet referral partners, collaborators, clients, mentors, or just some like-minded friends who can provide moral support on your entrepreneurial path. The casual, literally down-to-earth setting lends itself to friendly, open conversations about professional development...and what self-actualization means in a society that prioritizes productivity over holistic health.


Thurs., Sept. 26th, 2019

10:00 AM- 12:30 PM

Redwood Regional Park Skyline Gate Staging Area

8500 Skyline Blvd

Oakland, CA

5. Free at the Job Forum: Networking with Bay Area Professionals

If you’ve been job hunting to no avail- or looking for some support getting started- this networking event is for you, and it’s free!
If you’ve been job hunting to no avail- or looking for some support getting started- this networking event is for you, and it’s free! Image by

The actual name of this event is Free: Networking with Bay Area Professionals: Get Resume Help and Job Search. (That’s how it’s titled on Eventbrite and Eventful, where the event is posted). The name may be a mouthful, but this business networking event made our list because of its special focus on job readiness and searching. It’s often underlooked how many (new and established) professionals don’t have optimum resume-writing, job searching, and interview skills. People also underestimate the value of good networking skills, which can really make or break one’s career. This Job Forum event is a great opportunity to put your networking skills to practice while learning how to help yourself in your job search.

Topics will include job search planning with effective results, how to find job contacts, how to develop clear objectives, and how to focus and revise resumes. The Job Forum, which is sponsored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, meets weekly at the SF Chamber of Commerce offices. The objective of these meetings is to provide free job search coaching and mentorship. It’s open to any and all Bay Area job seekers, at any level of professional development.


Wed., Oct. 16th, 2019

236 Montgomery St.

Mezzazine Level

San Francisco, CA


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