With the new year here, we’re all doing our best to stick to those resolutions. This means that (at least for January), we’ll be eating more vegetables, hitting the gym more frequently and drinking less booze.

But what to do if you resolved to grow your business or meet new people? The answer is easy: Add a few mixers to your calendar.

The social networking scene in Greater Portland has exploded in recent years, with both general interest groups and those targeted to people who share similar beliefs and lifestyles.

Should you want to kick your social life into high gear and gain exposure and new prospects for your business, here’s what you need to know about the local social networking scene: 

• Business Bowl — Mingle and chat in the bar and then bowl a few frames.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. first Thursday of every month

Where: Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland

Cost: Free to mingle, but you pay to bowl

Info: businessbowlmaine.blogspot.com

• DownEast Pride Alliance — Join members of gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses to enjoy appetizers and a cash bar.

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. once a month on a Tuesday

Where: Location changes each month

Cost: Free

Info: www.depabusiness.com

• Facebook Maine — Socialize with others who enjoy using Facebook for business and pleasure.

When: 5 to 7:30 p.m., usually once a month

Where: Location changes each month

Cost: Free

Info: www.FBMaine.com 

• Greater Portland Connections — Get an early start on the day by making connections with Realtors and other business professionals.

When: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday

Where: Keller Williams, 50 Seawall St., Portland

Cost: Free

Info: Search Facebook for “Greater Portland Connections” 

• Maine Successful Thinkers — Keep a positive attitude and network with other affirmative folks at this networking group organized through the Meetup site.

When: 5 p.m. first Tuesday of the month

Where: Location changes each month

Cost: Free

Info: www.mainesuccessfulthinkers.org 

• Maine Tweetup — Connect with other Twitter users and tweet while you socialize.

When: 7 p.m. every other month or so

Where: Locations vary

Cost: Free

Info: Search Facebook for “Maine Tweetup” 

• Portland Buy Local Mixers — Enjoy free Sebago beers and meet local retailers and business owners.

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. once a month

Where: Location changes monthly

Cost: Free

Info: portlandbuylocal.org 

• Portland Regional Chamber — Join multiple Business After 5 networking events held each month at businesses in Portland, Westbrook, Scarborough, Falmouth and Cumberland.

When: 5 to 7 p.m., days vary

Where: Locations vary

Cost: Free for chamber members; $15 for nonmembers

Info: www.portlandregion.com 

• Portland Greendrinks — Sip free beer and nonalcoholic drinks and network with green businesspeople and people interested in green living at the local chapter of this international networking group.

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. second Tuesday of the month

Where: Location changes monthly

Cost: $2 with a drinking vessel; $5 without

Info: www.portlandgreendrinks.com 

• PROPEL — Find a much younger business crowd than what you’ll see at the Business After 5 events, even though the group’s monthly networking mixers and dinners are also sponsored by the Portland Regional Chamber.

When: 5:30 p.m., dates vary

Where: Locations vary

Cost: Depends on event

Info: www.portlandregion.com/young-members-group 

• Social Network of Maine — Participate in a casual networking event that has a happy hour feel.

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every other Monday

Where: Different bars and restaurants

Cost: Free

Info: www.socialnetworkofmaine.com

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

[email protected]

Find her on Twitter at:



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