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What’s the HYPE all about? – Tampa Networking Queen Gives the Details

August 10, 2020

By: Kirby Lavallee

TAMPA, Fla.- Most know her as Tampa’s Networking Queen due to her networking involvement in the Bay Area for several years now. HYPE: Hospitality Young Professional Executives, was founded by Lauren Ibey “Tampa’s Networking Queen”, a seasoned hospitality professional in 2018.

Lauren Ibey “Tampa’s Networking Queen”

This networking group is strictly for the up and comers in the industry, which was the focus that Ibey had for the group when she founded it. “When I got into the industry, there was not a dedicated group for young professionals, I wanted to change that,” she said. 

Each and every month young professionals between the ages of 21-40 meet to discuss trends in the industry, struggles they are having, success stories, and they are able to get free education that will directly help them become better at what they do. “I saw a void, so starting HYPE was a no brainer”, said Lauren. To date, there is no other group like it dedicated to young hospitality professionals. Most that enter this group are looking for mentorship and networking opportunities. 

So how did she become Tampa’s Networking Queen? Working in the hospitality industry herself in catering and sales, her job as a Sr Catering Sales Manager depends on networking. “Meeting new people, gathering leads, and always looking for strategic partnerships is how I have been successful in the industry,” she said. Lauren is a member and board member of Tampa Bay NACE, a national association for the catering and event industry. In addition, she is a member of the Carrollwood Area Business Association, Westshore Alliance, and Visit Tampa Bay. 

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COVID didn’t stop HYPE. Many of its members were directly affected by layoffs. “This was a time for us to continue education and talk as a group of how we are going to prepare for when we go back,” Lauren said. Monthly meetings shifted virtual and members were able to login from anywhere in the nation, so they were able to reach a broader group who were facing similar struggles.  

If you are in the hospitality industry and are interested in getting involved in HYPE, check them out on social media @HYPETampaBay (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). You can email Lauren at HYPETampa@gmail.com .

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