This week I wrote about how finding the right things to focus is a powerful thing.

This especially goes for the ‘magpies’ among us, who are constantly chasing the next shiny objects and opportunities that arise.

I said I would share a few of the ‘double-downs’ I’m currently focusing on at YENA and here is the first: Our free events.

“The key take away is: Remember the core values you started with”


As a few of you will know, YENA started out of simply providing free events for younger founders & professionals to attend. Friendly, unintimidating events in a warm atmosphere with people of a similar generation.

Not too long ago, we decided to test out charging for events. With 64 events a year now live across the UK and an average attendance of 35 people, we thought this might be a promising revenue stream to explore.

We did this in a very agile way (with learnings taken from our headline sponsors at Agility in Mind – thanks guys!) and decided to charge for just new cities before moving onto others.

Our quick realisation though was that, in doing this, we had lost one of our core values – making much-needed events accessible to everyone in our demographic, regardless of their circumstances.

So, we did a complete U-turn and decided to keep the events free, forever, doubling down on this message to drive higher attendance and greater brand advocacy, which so far has started to work wonders for event growth, not only in attendance, but also in geography.

The key take away is – Remember the core values you started with and ensure all your moves align with those.

It’s easy to get distracted with new opportunities, but, if let your values guide you, your brand will remain strong with any new product or service you develop.

Want to attend a YENA Future Leaders event?

Head to our events page and sign up, for free, for an event in your city!

Don’t see your city? Talk to me about launching a YENA event near you.