There have been so many great comments here. I like the point made of being really clear for your reason for joining any business group: Is it to get clients, partnerships, or support in building a business. Maybe you'd like some "down" time and just be in the company of others who understand what you are working so hard at. Having that clarity first will allow you to avoid frustration later.
Employing many of the suggested questions in assessing a group would be a great next step.
I think that for women finding a group is especially difficult. I've been doing a lot of research lately on how women succeed (yes, it has to do with my own business), but the biggest thing that I have found is that women need deep connections - no matter if it is business or personal. And thankfully, business in general is shifting to that of relationship nurturing (the "N" word) rather than surface relationships.
My biggest suggestion in joining a group would be to reiterate "what do you want and need from it?" and then: "Does it meet those wants and needs?" Ask others who are already a part of the group, don't be afraid, afterall it is your time and energy invested.
Ideally, you want a group that infuses you with motivation, energy, confidence. Peer feedback, group collaboration (promoting each others' work), brainstorming support, cutting-edge research and information on business-building, expert guidance and above all ladies: space to work on self!
Not that anyone wants to ever admit that they get in their own way, but we do. These are things I would want in a group and I personally assess a potential group like I do a bra: great support, attractive and up to date, makes me feel good, and after gentle wearing, it doesn't fall apart.
Women in general, do everything more intimately - even build businesses more intimately, so why not assess everything you become a part of just the same?
I use the following acronym to remind myself of what I need and want (maybe it will help you):
Real (real people, not just business faces)
Growing (opposite of stagnant)
Success-Bound (Do they know where they are going?)
Okay - so I'm off to join my Chamber of Commerce since I've recently moved and am in need of totally new groups - think they'll mind my bra assessment?
Michelle A. Beitzelhttp://www.thesoulstrategist.comhttp://www.my-success-circle.com