Participants included leadership from organizations in Malaysia, Canada, the US, Mexico, Qatar, Vietnam, Morocco, UAE, Iraq, South Africa, Kenya, France and Australia, as well as members of the State Department’s youth engagement and global entrepreneurship sections. In the span of 90 minutes, dozens of 3-minute meetings were facilitated between different leaders of the ecosystem who shared about their respective programs, challenges they were facing and ways in which they might collaborate They also offered one another valuable referrals and exchanged contact information. Following the summit, participants expressed their gratitude for the event, stating the connections they had made during the speed networking session turned out to be the strongest from the entire summit.
First, we created the first full-length documentary on the company, called The SUBWAY® Story: How 17-Year Old Built the #1 Restaurant Chain in the World Through Franchising, and distributed it to a proprietary list of 10,000 business and entrepreneurship professors in 100 countries. Next, to create a connection directly with young entrepreneurs, we built the SUBWAY® Global Challenge — the first 100-country contest — as an online business simulation game designed to inspire young people around the world to learn about business, entrepreneurship and franchising. The first round of the game earned over 19 million social media impressions, 1000+ media articles, engaged players in 90 countries, and received a major marketing award as one of the top campaigns run outside of the U.S.
Working closely with the head of marketing, we helped build the Career Connections Network, which provided professional development programs for their top recruiters — a network of over 70 Fortune 500 companies. In addition to delivering quarterly programs on recruiting, training, retaining and cultivating millennials into leaders, YSN built an online network to connect the companies with their students around the world, and build out a private online social network for the students to build their professional identities. To drive engagement, we created customized content including a weekly newsletter, articles with career tips and insights, and the Cupid for Your Career campaign messaged to students to make a “love match” with companies. For one global conference we set up a speed-networking program over a 2-day span, organizing over 800 quick meetings between students and sponsor companies. The entire program helped generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in incremental revenue for the organization.
At the time, the whole campaign was going to be executed online, but we had an idea: Instead of immediately sending $25k checks to the 12 winners (18-24), we recommended creating a live event — a Winners Workshop — to meet them all, learn about their stories, and teach them responsible budgeting, business planning, marketing, PR, etc. The goal was to go beyond simply awarding them money, and instead showing them how to maximize this opportunity, while creating a whole base of powerful marketing assets to turn Visa’s winners into raving fans and ambassadors for the brand.
The first Winners Workshop was executed with just 7 weeks to plan, and was such a big success it was featured in Visa’s annual report. The second year, Y&S ran another Workshop, and as part of the contest build-up added 3 live events called “Ideas Happen Live”. These were American Idol-style pitch events in San Diego, Omaha, and Washington, DC.