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April 25, 2024 - 7 minutes

AI Networking: Conferences, Meetups, Forums

Learn how to use networking to expand your professional opportunities in the AI sphere.

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Artificial Intelligence

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If you want to be on the forefront of AI technology–well, you’re in good company. In fact, as more and more professionals learn about what artificial intelligence can do for them, an increasingly high number of them are looking to prioritize AI in their professional growth. But as a relatively new field, and one that’s seeping into areas that were otherwise untouched by AI or even tech, one question remains: how can these professionals connect with other like minded individuals, expanding their knowledge of AI? 

Well, we’re lucky to live in an incredibly interconnected world where forums and social media help connect people, but for those looking for a more personal experience, conferences and meetups may be just what they need. 

With all of this networking advice, however, comes the most important one of all: prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to networking and make sure you’re being a good connection as well; reach out not just when you want something, but to check in and make sure that all your connections are mutually beneficial. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the art of networking in such a new and widespread area like artificial intelligence and then discuss how conferences, meetups, and forums can help you both learn new things and connect with professionals in the field. 

AI Networking 

Before we talk about ways to network and how you can advance your AI career through forums or conferences, it’s important to truly understand networking and the unique advantages that networking in a transformative and new field like AI brings to the table. 

To do so, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions surrounding AI and networking.

  • Who should I network with to get into AI?: there’s an easy answer here: anyone! The incredible thing about artificial intelligence is that it’s relevant in practically any field and applicable in a wide range of situations, meaning that no matter who you talk to, they will have some sort of need for AI solutions. As you begin your journey into the field of AI, reach out to former colleagues or classmates who ended up in a similar field as you or industry leaders that you’re interested in. 

  • Why should I network to get into AI?: in such a new field, it can be hard to know exactly where to get your foot in the door or the exact skills you should aim to learn; if you can connect with professionals who are already in the position where you wish to be, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

  • What will I get out of networking in the AI field?: the opportunities are practically limitless here and that’s because the field of AI is growing constantly and by connecting with those who are already in the trenches or also wanting to get their feet wet, you’ll be exposed to more opportunities than ever before.

  • How will my career benefit from networking?: in addition to the obvious benefit of simply getting your name out there, you will benefit from learning the current in-demand skills of the market, how your connections reached where they are in their careers, and where you should focus your efforts on next. And even if you don’t get an immediate in from networking, you can work on nurturing these connections over time for future opportunities. 

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, mingling and creating connections with like minded individuals, whether in your field or not, will open to your eyes to a world of possibilities: artificial intelligence technology isn’t limited to a certain role or field; everyone in every sector will soon feel the effects of AI and by expanding your horizons, you may find a new tool or trick that will help kickstart your AI career. 

How to Network in Artificial Intelligence 

Luckily for you, there are quite a few ways to get your foot in the door through networking in AI; let’s cover a few and see which one best fits your needs–and personality.

AI meetups and events 

This one is quite straightforward–by meeting with other professionals who are interested in the same field and ideas as you, you’ll be able to learn directly from them and make connections based on similar interests. You’ll find that these meetups and events are usually focused on a specific field, such as “AI in Software Engineering” or “AI in Image Creation.” 

When attending these events, try to both make connections with professionals or aspiring techies in your field and in new ones; expand your horizons to try to learn new things about where your career could take you. 

AI conferences 

Conferences differ from meetups in that professionals will usually present or participate in discussions about their area of expertise and you may even see demos of new tools or products that have yet to be introduced into the market. Because conferences are usually large events, they might cover more areas; If you’re still deciding which field to dive into or where to focus your efforts in the field of AI, attending a conference could help you narrow down your options and witness a wide range of applications. 

AI forums 

We live in an incredibly digital world and there’s no need to go to in-person meetings to connect with others–you can do so right from your laptop or phone. Here, there are two main ways to use forums to advance your AI career:

  • If you’re already in the AI field, these forums are an incredible resource for if you get stuck or want to try out new ideas. As you make connections with AI professionals who are working on similar projects, you can get help or inspiration for new ideas.

  • If you’re new to AI, you can explore various fields and see what’s the best fit for you while making connections with those already in the field that interests you. 

AI competitions 

If you know that the field of AI is where you want to be and you’ve already gotten your feet wet, it may be smart to consider entering an AI competition where you’ll be able to put your knowledge to the test and show off what you can do. In addition, you’ll be able to see other professionals’ creations and see what else is happening in the sector, creating a space for a knowledge exchange–and of course, professional connections. 

AI courses 

There’s no better place to learn than in a class, right?! And that’s why taking a specific AI course for the area that interests you most can help you not only advance your skills, but also connect with others who are also starting off their AI career. As you learn together and go your separate ways in the professional world, nurturing these connections and making sure you stay in touch can help open the door to new opportunities down the road. 

As you begin your journey into AI and find your spot, make sure you prioritize networking and building connections–you never know when you’ll meet someone who could help transform your career. And if you’re looking for where to start, consider AI School by Ironhack, the first school dedicated exclusively to AI. 

Choose from courses in a wide range of fields and learn the AI skills needed to set you apart from the competition. We’ll see you in class.

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