The Young Professionals Network founder, Kelly-anne Watson, set up the Facebook group in March 2019, in the last few months it has gained over 300+ members. Her aim is to work with likeminded people putting on stylish networking events in Leeds, giving people the opportunity to build meaningful, professional relationships in a relaxed environment.
Kelly-anne – Our first event was a massive success, with over 50 people attending the picturesque venue, Oracle, which overlooks Leeds Canal. My aim is to work with venues who are creating an environment which enhances social engagement and promotes creativity, to give our attendees the best experience whilst networking. I try run the event in collaboration with other young professionals from the Facebook group, I ask for volunteers to help with the marketing, design, venue organisation, sponsorship and much more. Working a full-time job can increase the pressure at times, so I’m grateful for the support of other members of the group.
On arrival people showed their free pre-purchased tickets, helped themselves to a name badge and were offered a complimentary drink, which I feel helped settle people in. I use the registration time to introduce myself and get to know our new members a little better. Once everyone had arrived, I delivered a short speech which explained why I started this journey and my vision of the future of the Young Professionals Network. I am very proud of the support the group has gained in such a short period of time.
We had Bumble Bizz, sponsor the event, two members of their team attended to promote their online networking app and for every download they gave people a drinks voucher.
Everyone then went on to spend the next hour or so, introducing ourselves to some really lovely people, exchanging contact details and enjoying the free drinks. Just before the evening came to an end I pulled a surprise raffle to win 2 bottles of prosecco, from the names I took at the front desk. The vast diversity of skills and talent in one room was probably the most successful part of the event and really laid the foundations for the development of a new and exciting professional networking group within Leeds.
Throughout the evening I received comments on how effective and enjoyable the event had been while still maintaining such a relaxed environment – something that many networking events find challenging to achieve. It is our desire to provide this welcoming, no pressure environment to all who attend. I feel this helped to make attendees much more comfortable and open to discussions and ideas.
As our journey moves forward, we are looking for more venues to host our events and developing opportunities for companies to sponsor us. We have lots of ideas which will make our events really worthwhile, such as free professional head shots from photographers, guest speakers and workshops to help develop the skillsets of our members.
Our vision is to become one of the leading professional networking groups within the Leeds district whilst maintaining the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that many young professionals seek. The success of our first event proves the popularity of our model and we aspire to maintain this standard as our journey continues to bear fruit.
Their second event is on Wednesday 29th May at Penthouse, Fibre. 6pm -9pm.
Free ticket Link – https://youngprofessionalsnetworkleeds.eventbrite.co.uk
Join the FB group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/320004581832020/