Business Organizations Tailor Year-End Events to Young Professionals

Korean business organizations are making an organized effort to attract younger members. Picture above is the KACPA’s event from last year.
Korean business organizations are making an organized effort to attract younger members. Picture above is the KACPA’s event from last year.

The theme of many Korean-American business organizations’ year-end events this time around is to “serve young working professionals.”

While the events were always intended to provide an exciting and festive vibe for all attendees, the voice to engage younger members from 20s to 40s is growing larger by the year. Some organizations are even planning on imitating popular television shows as the concept of their events.

The Korean American Logistics Association (KALA) is even inviting a professional event host to run the show, which will include “KALA’s Got Talent,” an obvious imitation of NBC’s top-rated competition series “America’s Got Talent.”

The winner of KALA’s talent competition is set to receive $100 in prize money, while more gifts have been prepared for other participants. Traditionally, KALA’s previous events have been far more straightforward, as it simply included a keynote speech followed by a series of announcements and a raffle.

“We’ve decided to target members in their 30s and 40s instead of the traditional members who are in or past their 50s,” said KALA president Jung-yeol Lee. “I hope this year’s event is used as an opportunity for working professionals in their 20s and 30s to network and exchange resourceful information.”

The Korean American CPA Society of Southern California (KACPA) is also going away from a traditional mixer for the upcoming year-end event after announcing that its Dec. 8 event will serve as a Christmas party. Having done something similar last year, the KACPA is set to host a talent show this time.

“We’ve prepared plenty of gifts for our talented members who’ll be singing, dancing or playing instruments at the talent show,” said KACPA chairman Gary Son. “We’re not targeting the event for a specific age group, but the focus is to create an entertaining atmosphere for everyone to enjoy and connect.”

The Korean Real Estate Brokers Association SoCal (KREBASC) is also preparing an event on Dec. 14 for younger generations of Korean-Americans.

“About 50 percent of our members are in their 20s to 40s,” said KREBASC chairman Seung-hyun Nam. “This is expected to be a growing trend as our incoming chairman Mark Hong is a Korean-American who grew up in the U.S.”

Many members of the respective organizations have agreed that a festive mood will also make things easier for the elderly participants to freely relate to the younger generation.

However, some organizations are downsizing their year-end events for various reasons. For example, the Korean American Chamber of Commerce in L.A. is planning to have a simple meeting on Dec. 20, as it has already held a big event in June to inaugurate the new leader. As of now, the organization does not plan on having a special event designed for its younger members.

The Overseas Korean Traders Association of L.A. (OKTA LA) also plans to have a smaller scale year-end event on Nov. 30.

“It’s always a challenge for us to network with the younger generation,” said OKTA LA general secretary Kang-rok Lee.

By Brian Choi