Think Differently: Lessons from YPSummit 2015

By: Corinn Ploessl VP, Dan Merfeld and I attended NEWaukee’s YPSummit on November 5-6. We were among friends at the Summit as many representatives were Wisconsin YPs we worked with earlier this year for YPWeek 2015. It was great to be back in the company of energetic and encouraging minds. The Summit was all about thinking outside the box – how can we approach our programming with a new spin?; what benefits will truly excite our members?; how can we create and leverage partnerships in our community?

Here are 3 lessons I learned at this year’s YPSummit:

1. Don’t be afraid to take a personal interest and turn it into an event, you may find that many others enjoy the same, weird things as you. Our friend from Appleton’s Pulse Young Professionals Network took her love of thrift store hunting and open market shopping and turned it into something called, The ARTery. She had several hundred people explore the goods at her inaugural event and has since hosted it twice more, expanding the number of artists and attendees each time.

2. Titles are everything

Prime example: NEWaukee hosts a Naked Ballet, no the dancers are not naked, but I bet that was your first thought. The ballet is “naked” because it is a stripped-down performance in an unassuming venue. No tickets, no seats, no stage – just a beautiful display of the combination of art and music.

3. Engage YPs through experience

This one may be obvious to some, but I don’t think I’ve heard anyone put it in the terms I heard at the Summit. If you think about our generation, we ignore more traditional media – newspapers, TV/radio ads, print ads, heck, even email at this point! So, how do you engage a generation that ignores many of the messages that surround us? The answer is to give us an experience. The challenge is getting us to attend, but once we are at an event, the experience will sell itself. The experience is what will keep us coming back.

I’m happy to say that our state, our cheese & beer loving state, is leading the charge for America’s next generation of leaders. Being in a room with these dynamic YPs from all corners of Wisconsin was inspiring and I, we, Magnet are looking forward to sharing and implementing what we learned.