How has your calendar changed over the last year? Mine certainly looks different these days after an abrupt end to live networking events in 2020. But that doesn’t mean any of these groups, or their organizers, disappeared. Below, take a look at three local networking groups that offer events free to the public.

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WHAT: TechBrew:AM, TAI’s interview series with Iowa technology executives, is still presented virtually on the second Friday of every month. Around 200 to 300 viewers log on each month; registration for upcoming events is available online.

  • Previously hosted across the state in Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Ottumwa and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls region, the online format has made it easier for Iowans to attend, said director of marketing Cassandra Kotek.
  • PLANS FOR LIVE EVENTS: None announced yet for TechBrew:AM, which plans to continue virtually with support from sponsor Nutanix.
  • OTHER EVENTS: The Iowa Technology Summit will take place virtually May 24-25 and is free to attend. TAI will host the Prometheus Awards presented by LWBJ to a limited in-person audience on Nov. 4 (early ticket purchases are encouraged).

WHAT: 1 Million Cups Des Moines hosts entrepreneurs presenting their work to an audience of community members, startup supporters and fellow founders each Wednesday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Links to the next livestream are available online.

  • PLANS FOR LIVE EVENTS: 1 Million Cups Des Moines is tentatively planning a return to live meetings on July 7, depending on health and safety guidance. Check the 1MC website and social media for weekly updates.

WHAT: SecDSM is a monthly meet-up group for information security specialists in Des Moines to network and hear featured speakers present on industry best practices. Interested attendees can sign up for the group via Slack online.

  • SecDSM initially continued regular meetings in 2020 virtually but found interest and attendance waned, organizer Brandon Murphy said. Instead of formal presentations by chosen speakers, SecDSM began hosting smaller “Friday Night Hangout” events virtually to let attendees informally connect again.
  • PLANS FOR LIVE EVENTS: Organizers anticipate returning sometime in fall 2021 but are seeking a new venue to hold events in. Pre-pandemic, event attendance hit around 80 people each; SecDSM does not require formal registration or membership.
  • “The break has honestly given many organizers a much needed break and an opportunity to rethink the mission and how we’re setting out to achieve it,” Murphy said. “That being said, there is no doubt we’re pretty anxious to get back to meeting in person.”