Your Purpose of joining. First, what do you want to get out of the group? Are you looking for support, to mentor others, to help the community or just for the business contacts. Is there something you want to learn from other business professionals in the area? Some groups offer mentoring and other business services.
Your availability. Based on the meeting schedules, will you be able to actually make the meetings? The truth is, if you are not going to participate, do not join. It then just becomes a burden.
Your industry. Depending on how large the group is, it is important that the particular group is not saturated with your industry already. For instance, you don't want to be the 10th accountant in a group of 100. Find another group.
The aggressiveness of group. Some groups are more aggressive than others. Where they may put a lot of pressure to force leads. Forced leads are not nearly as effective as solid leads. And sometimes when you're in a room and they expect you to spass leads, you may feel pressured to give leads, even though they are weak. I do not participate in the high pressure leads groups. It creates an uncomfortable environment. I prefer a more casual approach.
Who are the members? Are the members of that group influential in the community? Are they participators in community events and know the movers and shakers within that community?
One thing that is important to know is that you'll get out of it what you put in to it. So go to the meeting and participate.
I enjoy introducing people who can mutually benefit each other. I am a huge fan of small business. I like to help others connect. It helps grow the community and helps my business as well. As a matter of fact I like it so much, we started our own group called Brevard Connections. We enjoy an evening every quarter where we get together and drink a couple of glasses of wine and talk business. If you are interested in joining, please go to http://www.brevardconnections.com or like our Facebook page.