There are many ways to socialize in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. Like many things, you can do it digitally or physically, and reach far and wide.

How can you widen your network?

Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and to some degree, Facebook, are good resources when looking for new contacts or jobs. There are also groups such as InterNations, #iAMHCMC Community and SpamCham that run events that are great for mingling with expatriates and locals. Business chambers hold monthly events that are also superb networking opportunities.

While there are a large number of general business networking events in Vietnam and HCMC specifically, events for other sectors such as design, marketing and software development are also represented. There’s even an event where the grand prize for the raffle is a tin of Spam!

Networking events are all about meeting people and building relationships that lead to further business. In addition, the aim of networking events is to uncover opportunities for the groups’ members. Chambers of commerce, consulates and companies consider these events an extension of their business. Moreover, through these networking events, organisations hope to bring their members together in order to share meaningful information regarding their business. With any luck, members attract more clients or support from their partners.

Where are some good places to widen my network?

Besides participating in Vietnamese communities and groups, you can consider joining various expat groups with interests ranging from drama to sports.

International Ladies in Vietnam (ILV)

ilvietnam.com

Every Thursday at 10:00 AM in the Purple Jade at InterContinental Hotel.

Admission is 180,000VND for members and 250,000VND for non-members.

The ILV is a social organisation gathering approximately 250 women from 45 countries living in HCMC. Its aim is to help in local projects helping the community (English teaching, teaching cooking, supporting orphanages), through weekly coffees, cultural, social and sporting activities. You can join by attending coffee mornings held every Thursday at 10am. Once a month its official meeting happens in the evening usually from 7:30-9:30pm; the location changes every month. ILV membership is available to women of all nationalities and is renewable annually.

Saigon Players

saigonplayers.com

saigonplayers@gmail.com

A fun, volunteer group of amateur dramatists who put on regular plays and pantomime-style productions and other performances around Saigon. A well-known and well-loved group for all-ages and ability with strong connections to the international school community and local charities. Also hosts regular acting workshops. Contact them for more details.

Saigon Pool League

https://saigonpoolleague.leaguerepublic.com/l/league/

Players get together to socialise, network and play competitive but friendly Pool. Although mainly built up of Expat Pool Players, the league is open to all players of any skill level, nationality or sex who wish to join in the spirit, sportsmanship and conviviality of the League's purpose.

Saigon International Darts League

http://thesidl.com/l/league/

http://www.facebook.com/groups/61366026768

Saigon Fives (5-a-side football)

http://www.facebook.com/SaigonFives/

For more information about how networks affect our lives, go to Connectivism: The Science of Networks

For information on expats go to To Escape, Wander and Seek: Expats in Vietnam

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