By Rebecca Donatelli
Let’s face it, as YPNers we are always looking for creative YPN event ideas. Getting members excited to get involved through fun and inspired events is a top priority on our annual YPN agenda. Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago for the NAR YPN Leadership Retreat, where I was able to not only meet other YPN chairs and vice chairs from around the country, but exchange ideas for building a successful YPN network. One of event idea that was mentioned by quite a few people is called Wake Up YPN, a fun, casual morning networking opportunity.
So, our YPN at the Lake & Geauga Area Association of REALTORS® decided to give the event a try. Here’s a quick, shameless plug for our first Wake Up YPN, and tips for running a successful YPN event of your own.
1. Have a specific purpose for the event.
While general networking opportunities are always beneficial and fun (happy hours, coffee meet-ups, etc.) most people are drawn to events that have some sort of feature or purpose. For our first Wake Up YPN, we hosted the event at a local coffee shop and asked the owners of the shop speak about opening and running multiple businesses. As entrepreneurs and business owners ourselves, we love to learn best business practices. We had close to 40 people attend and audience was very receptive to the advice.
2. Make the rounds: Shake hands with everyone in the room.
If you are not doing this, you’re missing out on the point of your YPN event. Whether you make a brief introduction or have an in-depth conversation, make sure to acknowledge every guest who attends your event. People tend to get distracted by conversations with other people they already know and forget to talk with the new faces in the room. At our event, I chatted with an affiliate member who I vaguely knew, but she was so impressed with our event that she asked to meet me for coffee at a later date to discuss becoming a member of our YPN committee.
3. Properly market your event.
This is crucial for drawing a good crowd. Because it was our first time hosting a Wake Up YPN event, we were unsure what the turnout would look like, so we knew our marketing approach had to be spot-on. Post your event all over social media, and create a Facebook event on your YPN Facebook page to get people excited. Ask your local board send out a mass email to the membership, and also have them post on the association’s Facebook, Instagram, and other relevant social media pages. The heavy marketing will work if it’s consistent across channels. We ended up having the mayor from a neighboring town came to our event!
With these tips your next YPN event is bound to be a success. Good luck!
Rebecca Donatelli, ABR, SRS, is a top producer at McDowell Homes Real Estate Services in Cleveland who has built a large online presence through social media, specifically Instagram. She is the 2019 chair of the Lake & Geauga Area Association of REALTORS® YPN. Follow her @rebeccadonatelli.REALTOR.