Bartow Young Professionals, a new organization for those ages 21 to 40, will hold a networking event Thursday, Aug. 14, at Rally Volleyball in the LakePoint Sporting Community. Scheduled to run from 5:30 to 8 p.m., the event will have a sand volleyball tournament, light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.
Sheppard Bowen, a BYP organizer, said a group of area professionals had been planning for approximately two years to put together a group dedicated solely to the new generations of Bartow’s business community. Recently the plans coalesced into a volleyball event.
“We were wanting to do something kind of fun to attract some people out there, and when we sat down and talked to the folks over at LakePoint and Rally Volleyball and they offered up their location, it just seemed like a perfect fit with all that new growth going in over there,” he said.
Having what could be considered a non-traditional networking event is necessary for younger generations Euharlee History Museum Director Katie Gobbi believed.
“We are going to have a fun first event that’ll get people excited about this organization and just [be] an example of what we’re going to be about,” she said. “I’m not from Bartow County. I’ve been here just a year and a half now. As a young professional, it is a little intimidating to walk into a networking event and pull out your business card and start talking to people. We want to give them an opportunity to — even if you’re not from here — you can find some common ground, have some fun and get plugged in and involved from there.”
Bowen said the event’s novelty also may be a draw.
“It’s great. It’s a fun event. Me, personally, I’m from Cartersville. I grew up here. I lived away for a while while I was serving in the U.S. Army and now I’ve been home for the past couple of years. Seeing an event like this, I don’t really see these that often,” he said.
Those interested in attending are asked to register with Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce Membership and Marketing Director Shontina Sanders by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants will also be accepted at the door. The entrance fee is $15 at the volleyball deck.
“We’re trying to encourage social and business networking all wrapped up into one, and so this is a really great opportunity for people to just loosen up a little bit after work and do something they might not normally do — go and play a little beach volleyball,” Gobbi said. “... You don’t have to play to come. We would love everybody to play, but you’re welcome to just socialize and network and enjoy the food and drink.”