Each new year is a new opportunity to rethink and re-envision your Young Professional Network’s plans and activities. For Hamilton HIVE, 2016 presents new opportunities and considerations as the organization is now incorporated as a non-profit. As the 2016 HIVE exec creates the operations plan for the year, there are a few key considerations that govern our approach in executing HIVE’s vision. Here are a few suggestions that can help you define your YPN’s focus for the year:
Be crystal clear about your mandate and your assets
Many YPNs share a common vision to advance young professionals in their communities. Within that vision, however, there are complex questions to tackle. How do we define and meet our goals based on our current capacity? What are our assets and our competitive advantage? Answering these questions serves as a reality check exercise, which can be the blueprint for deciding the scope and scale of your YPN’s activities.
You know the saying “no man is an island”? In a world where connections and networks matter, no YPN can thrive alone! Consult with your fellow YPNs and seek ways to collaborate, either by co-presenting events, co-chairing committees or co-promoting each other’s initiatives. In Hamilton and Hamilton HIVE, we’ve seen success coming out of unique collaborations between our member groups, businesses and community organizations. These partnerships can present win-win situations for all.
Know your audience and what they want
The young professional demographic is huge and has diverse needs. HIVE’s target demographic (individuals aged 18-39 years old) are at different stages in their lives. They are students, workers and parents. They might be thinking of career advancement, ways to transition to the workforce, meaningful social life, networking opportunities, philanthropy, community involvement and more. Recognizing and differentiating their needs can help you decide the focus of your YPN’s activities and programming for the year.
Engage young professionals in the process
It’s not rocket science: when activities and programming are planned for and by young professionals, they often resonate stronger and are more relevant to young professionals. Find ways to engage the emerging class of young professionals in your city. HIVE strives to do so through its three subcommittees: HIVEX conference planning, public relations and sponsorship and stewardship. The subcommittees provide a platform for young professionals to gain and sharpen their skills, learn from one another and explore new areas of interest. The volunteers are instrumental in creating new content for the website, coordinating the programming for Hamilton’s premier young professional conference and garnering sponsorship for HIVE.
Now onto you. What are the key considerations for your YPN as you plan for your year? I’d be happy to bounce off ideas. Contact via email@example.com
Chair, Hamilton HIVE