Like his counterparts across the country, Queensland YFP Chair Adam Crombie expects to be involved in four or five events a year.
But the stand-out networking session is the signature Current & Future Leaders - the unique speed mentoring event that has been running for more than a decade.
“The feedback we get from it is always brilliant,” says Adam, a Relationship Executive in Healthcare and Commercial Banking at CBA.
“Leaders is definitely our biggest uptake. It's where we get most people along.
“The fact that it’s the most expensive to attend, but is still the most popular, shows the value it has for people and why it is such a prestigious event.”
But why is it such a good opportunity?
“The format allows you to get just the right mix of open format networking,” explains Adam.
“Those who love working the room can do that. Then when you break into very small groups with four, five, six people at a table with a leader, you've got real personal interaction.
“That means those more introverted people can still easily talk to others and meet other professionals.
“Walking into a big room of 50, 60 people and trying to walk away with a few contacts can be very daunting.”
“But being on a table of four or five people makes it easier to introduce yourself. You meet all those like-minded people.
“The other incredible benefit is that you will be talking to someone senior in the industry.”
The Queensland YFP committee make sure they bring together a wide range of professionals, including bankers, lawyers, accountants, stock brokers, financial advisors ‘and everything in between’.
“You hear from different people and their career path - leaders who are in their 30s themselves, or their 40s, 50s, or 60s from right across the spectrum.
“And every time we do it, the feedback we get is amazing.
“We get a lot of repeat people coming along. A lot of leaders send their own teams, then five or six people from their circle because they believe in it.
“Feedback from the leaders is also positive. They’re always telling us how they got something out of the event for themselves. We even hear they’ve met three or four people that they would consider hiring.”
Adam acknowledges the fact networking suffered as a result of COVID and is glad face-to-face events have resumed in 2021.
“Networking has really suffered,” he said, echoing the thoughts of other YFPs.
“And it's concerning that people are sort of slotting into that. It’s worrying to see that some people just won't bother. That's a cause for concern because you just won't build the networks.”
While he says the virtual event that FINSIA held was a success and that there is scope for a national virtual event, but he doesn’t think it’s a good a ‘networking event’.
“Talking to the leaders and peers directly is just so important. It scares me that people don't realise how important that is.
“With COVID, I think we really lost both external - and internal - networking. Getting out and talking to other people - colleagues and customers - is important.
“I think managers need to be cognizant of how important networking is and should actually be tapping people on the shoulder to say, ‘Hey, get along to this event, you know, we'll fund you. It’s good for you and it’s good for business.’
“So far 2021 has definitely seen an improvement with a few good events held so far, in QLD anyway, and hopefully this continues back to normal, even if we aren’t all in the office as much as we were, it’s worth coming in on the days networking functions are on.”