Article By The Field Guide
IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT TOOWOOMBA IS A HARD CITY TO ‘CRACK’.
It feels like many locals have lived here their whole lives and have well-established networks of friends and colleagues. But we can personally attest to the fact that it’s not true – it’s really just about putting yourself in places where people are open to meeting new people.
It was intimidating when we first moved back here – we only knew a few people we went to school with many years ago – and had to start our friendship group (and professional network) from scratch. But it doesn’t need to be hard. Here’s our tips on meeting new people in Toowoomba.
This group claims that “everyone is creative and everyone is welcome”. It’s a monthly talk series that happens on a Friday morning from 7.30am and finishes in time to get to work. Expect artists and designers as well as entrepreneurs and small business owners, who all come together to listen to a local person talk about life and business. There are 200 cities in the world who are part of CreativeMornings, and Toowoomba is Australia’s fifth.
This is Toowoomba’s main business networking event, run by the Chamber of Commerce. Each month has a new venue and a new guest speaker, who touches on their experience running a business in Toowoomba, and what is happening in their industry. The events are run once a month on a Wednesday evening, and the venue changes each time. Bring your business cards!
Sure, it feels super daggy, but just telling people that you’re interested in meeting new people is a really good place to start. We were invited to dinners, networking drinks and all sorts of events just by asking for help. Making new friends is just a matter of working along the chain of people until you meet some you really connect with.
And you’re always welcome to ask us!
If you’ve moved around a bit, you’ve possibly already come across MeetUp. It’s an international website that encourages groups of likeminded people to meet up in person. In Toowoomba there’s a photography group, a social tennis group, an entrepreneurs group, and many more. And if none of those groups interest you, start your own!
The Field Guide’s calendar was created as a way to showcase Toowoomba’s huge variety of events. When we moved here, we couldn’t find a hub of events that interested us, so we created one!
Find one or two that interest you, and book your tickets right away. Commit! If you choose something with a niche – such as a games night or a watercolour workshop – chances are you’ll meet people who enjoy the same things you do. Find events that have an in-built element of socialising, so you’ll get a chance to talk to others in a non-awkward way. And start to go regularly, so you see the same faces. Maybe you’ll feel too shy to introduce yourself the first time, but try again the next month.
As well as CreativeMornings and Business @ Dusk, here are some regular local events with some socialising:
- First Coat Studios’ monthly exhibition opening night
- Battlestation’s game nights
- Tinker’s workshops
- Friday at the Flicks
There’s also plenty of playgroups, fitness classes and other activities to tap into. Keep an eye on our calendar, as we’re always posting new ones!