BrandSource to Host First Young Professionals University Event
BrandSource will host its first Young Professionals University (YPU) event in Orange County, California on May 18th-20th. According to BrandSource, the three-day event for the industry’s under 40 demographic involves networking in a relaxed, casual setting and learning opportunities about the retail industry.
The event will combine business-related activities with social events designed to encourage networking and collaboration. It will include team building events, seminars, roundtable discussions and workshops, as well as a beach BBQ, a tour of the Bosch facility and an interactive vendor/member mixer.
Keynote speakers Tim and Kris O’Shea will present “The O’Shea Report: Change 180,” on how to use humor to deal with the ups and downs of change. They previously presented to companies including McDonald’s, General Motors and Hewlett-Packard.
The Young Professionals’ division was created in 2014 and is led by Director of Marketing, Jennifer Baldwin. It includes a mixture of young independent dealers, sales representatives, buyers, sales managers and vendor partners looking to share new ideas and grow their businesses.
According to BrandSource, the goal is to make the group a “breeding ground” for BrandSource and the industry’s future leaders.
It is hoped that the members descending upon Orange County in May, through a mixture of educational seminars, social networking and guidance by current membership, will be the next group of business leaders capable of meeting the needs of future generations in the electronics, appliance, furniture & bedding industries.
The Young Professionals event will coincide with the Power Dealer Meeting, a meeting of the company’s largest volume members. According to BrandSource, the timing of the event will afford the Young Professionals a unique opportunity to introduce themselves and make contacts with to BrandSource’s veteran members.
“We think this will be a great time for them (the Young Professionals) to network and learn from our more seasoned retailers. We are inviting vendors who have young professionals within their industries to join us. We want the young retailers to know that this is still a viable industry in all categories - consumer electronics, major appliances, furniture, and bedding,” Baldwin stated.
The overlapping meetings are also an attempt to help dealers deal with the issue of succession planning. Succession planning is how current owners go about passing their businesses on to future generations.
“The concern amongst our members has been that their desire to pass on their businesses to the future generation is being met with hesitation,” said Baldwin.
“Our purpose is to share best practices & networking opportunities to these future leaders to prove that this can be a very successful and lucrative venture and to provide direction on how this can be accomplished.”
“Today’s young professionals are considered the most educated generation ever. This generation understands that nothing can be achieved alone and therefore work extraordinarily well collaborating together. Besides being completely tech savvy, they aspire to find solutions to problems. We’re really excited because this is the first ever Young Professionals University, the first time we’ll have YPs together for more than just a few hours. This is an excellent way for them to not only network but to share ideas and really learn from one another.”