Business Networking in Milan during Lockdown
It’s been a year since we have been in lockdown and for many of us, office jobs were instantly converted into remote jobs. This has both helped and hurt the way we communicate and keep in touch with clients and co-workers. While some of us have embraced working from home, for others it has not been a welcome change. Fortunately, many companies are now introducing hybrid work policies allowing workers to split their time between home and office.
Sadly, for some, the Covid-19 crisis meant a decline in business, cancelled projects and some companies were forced to close retail locations, satellite offices and start-up enterprises, leaving many without jobs.
Whether you are looking for a job or trying to drum up new business, networking is always the best way to reach out to companies and make new contacts.
While we cannot attend in-person conferences and networking events due to the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown, many of the international business groups and organizations for business networking in Milan are still very active online. Webinars, Q&A sessions and training courses are available on a daily basis, you just have to know where to look.
Find online business networking opportunities in Milan
With the aim of facilitating your job hunt and business development in Milan, we have complied this list of organizations and resources for business networking in Milan.
As you may already know, Easy Milano publishes events and job listings in the classified ads section and on social media. We are in contact with many associations, private corporations and consular offices who provide online webinars and networking events. Sign up for the newsletter and follow us for updates.
The British Chamber of Commerce for Italy (BCCI)
The British Chamber of Commerce for Italy (BCCI) was founded in Genoa on 29 March 1904, and has continued to provide over 100 years of service to the British business community in Italy. The Chamber’s mission is to assist and encourage the development of trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Italy and to support and promote the interests of its Members’ commercial activities.
Past in-person events included business networking sessions, informal social cocktail hours and gala evening charity events. Recent online events have included “Inclusive Finance”, the “Life After Brexit” webinar series, as well as online meetings with members.
The US Embassy & Consulates in Italy
Although it is not specifically a networking event, each Thursday, the US embassy and consulates in Italy work together to produce a virtual speaker program. The speakers and topics are always interesting and can be a good resource for learning more about a variety of industries from expert, experienced professionals.
The programs can be viewed on the US Consulate Facebook page, and from the U.S. Embassy’s YouTube channel. Some of the programs are presented in English and some in Italian.
The events are broadcast live and encourage Q&A from the audience.
Recent programs have included “Women in Comics”, “Walkable Cities / Sustainable Cities”, “Women Entrepreneurs: Let’s Make History” and “Partire, studiare, crescere Storie di scambi culturali negli Stati Uniti”.
Stay up to date with new programs here on Easy Milano or subscribe to the US Embassy in Italy YouTube channel.
Women’s Society Italia (WSI)
WSI is a network and a community of international professionals, based in Milan, who want to connect, collaborate and create synergies and that are actively engaged in working towards building a better world. WSI believe that women’s economic empowerment and leadership are necessary for the change we all want: a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and happy society. WSI is open to ALL professionals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, race and ethnicity.
Events and meetings are held in Spanish, Italian and English.
Recent online events have included “Sustainable Entrepreneurship”, “Rock your LinkedIn Profile“, and “Tips on Finding Work During the Covid Crisis” .
The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy
The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy (AmCham) aims to develop and foster economic and cultural relations between Italy and the United States.
AmCham is a private non-profit organization, affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of Washington DC (the US Confindustria), which includes over three million companies. It is also a founding member of the European Council of American Chambers of Commerce, the body that protects free trade between the European Union and the United States.
Very active in pre-covid times organizing seminars and training courses as well as networking events, the Am Cham continues to provide members with online events.
Recent online events include “M&A webinar in the healthcare sector”, “The Italy Digital Services Tax, and “Digital strategies between corporate heritage, art and culture”.
The Professional Women’s Network (PWN)
PWN Milan is an independent association of international career-minded women who want to create real cultural change within companies and organizations, as well as promote merit and gender-balanced leadership in the work world. The PWN has been bringing internationally minded professional women together to connect, share and learn since 1991.
The Irish Business Network Italy
The Irish Business Network Italy, is a network for the Irish community living and working in Italy as well as those Italian professionals with an interest in Irish business. It is a non-profit entity and membership is free.
With 100+ members the Irish Business Network Italy is known for organising events on a monthly basis.
Past in-person events included a Reception with the Irish Ambassador to Italy, a concert by Traditional Irish music group ‘Inisfail’ as well as numerous pub quizzes and aperitive social events.
Recent online events have included “Innovative Sustainability Solutions from Ireland” “Showcase Digital Showrooms Virtual Catalog” and the launch of EnterpriseIrelandTV on Youtube.
Learn more »
The Fiera Milano is the trade fair convention center of Milan. Every month there is a new exhibition. This past year, many exhibitions have made the transition into digital or hybrid format.
Upcoming trade fairs such as AIXA the Artificial Intelligence fair, BIT travel fair, and TuttoFood food and beverage fair are all implementing a hybrid “phyigital” (physical and digital) format.
Other convention centers around the world are also providing online events and meetings. It is well worth the time to research trade fairs online. Online trade fair events provide an opportunity to attend an event that you may have excluded because of distance and cost.
Word of Mouth
Do not underestimate your own network of friends, family and ex-colleagues. If you share your ambitions and goals with them, you will find a home-grown group of cheerleaders behind you. Reach out by email and on social media and create your own business networking file of contacts and connections. You may be surprised at what can happen after sending a simple “hello”.
If you are planning an online, in-person or hybrid event, partner with Easy Milano and we will help get the word out!
To add your organization to this list of business networking opportunities in Milan, feel free to contact us.
Article by C. Abernethy for Easy Milano
Easy Milano is the online publication for the international community of Milan. We offer practical tips, key information and essential insights about living and working in Italy. Easy Milano has been assisting English speaking expats in Milan since 1999.
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