They say first impressions are everything, and on June 28, over 200 attendees at Midtown Crossing’s Della Costa, pulled out all the stops. The inaugural Intro event to welcome and connect new residents, professionals and interns in Omaha was a hit! The networking event that also included some of Omaha’s most dedicated ambassadors had great energy and ignited a multitude of connections.
The event was a result of a collaboration between the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Young Professional Council and We Don’t Coast Connector initiative and talent recruitment team. This year’s YP Council Chair, Allison Schorr, challenged the YP Council to THINK BIGGER when considering our group’s ongoing mission to attract and retain talent in Omaha. In the past few years, the Council had hosted several Welcome Brews – a series of happy hours dedicated to welcoming Omaha’s new young professionals. These events hit their peak in 2015, but attendance had begun to wane more recently. We needed to pivot. And a combined event with the Chamber’s Summer Connector and newly forming, Omaha Ambassador program was a perfect opportunity.
Take our combined efforts and sense of purpose and throw in an amazing event-planning squad, a generous sponsor like Midtown Crossing, and a trendy, energetic space like Della Costa – and what you have is Omaha’s largest welcome event to date.
YP Council Chair Allison Schorr stated, “I had many people thank me on their way out – they had so much fun, are excited for the next one and were so glad we held an event like this. The number of individuals who had just moved here weeks ago and were looking for something just like this was astounding. It really worked.”
The anecdotes don’t end there. While we had thought the big portion of our attendees would be summer interns, we were surprised to find that many new Omaha “transplants” – or new residents found us through multiple sources.
“We just moved here 3 weeks ago from Cleveland to start my first job at Hayneedle” … “I just got to Omaha 2 weeks ago from NYC for my Fellowship at the Med Center” … “I just moved here from Bismarck where I was involved in the Chamber YP there and was so glad I found you so soon!”Comments Heard at Intro 2018
A couple who just moved here from Texas to start an insurance practice found us by simply joining the Greater Omaha Chamber their first week in town. INTRO brought together quite a variety of transplants for the first, and hopefully not the last, time.
This energy and a healthy mix of Omaha locals and new YP volunteers was at its height around the #SummerBucketList activity wall. Prior to the event, over 20 volunteers submitted 250+ preferred summer bucket list activities, destinations and events for the Greater Omaha area. These were then displayed on a large high foot wall where everyone was invited to take as many buckets (cleverly-cut Post It™ notes) as they desired to begin building their own #SummerBucketList. Participants were also asked to leave a note or two behind in case they had already conquered a great Omaha adventure in their short time here. This, combined will the added Plinko-like bucket drop game, might have helped those new to our community discover some of its greatest assets — well-know or otherwise.