There’s no denying it: Things are happening in Tucson. With Downtown Tucson continuing to evolve and new businesses springing up every year, the desert city is poised to become one of the Southwest’s main business hubs for young professionals. This weekend, you’ll get the opportunity to mingle with other business professionals, swap ideas, and listen to some of the area’s most engaged—and engaging—voices as they mull over how to take on the challenges of the coming year.

That opportunity is ignite520, an annual summit in Tucson that’s now going on its fourth year. The summit is designed to give young business professionals in all industries a chance to network and learn from each other. In addition, it gives its attendees a chance to get a better sense of what’s going on in their city and forge a deeper, more lasting connection with the other members of their community. There are a lot of fantastic things happening in the Tucson of 2018, and ignite520 is all about celebrating them. Read on for a handy guide to this one-of-a-kind event.

What makes ignite520 different than other professional events?

If you’ve been to business conferences before, you may think you know what to expect from ignite520. But trust us—you don’t. From the scavenger hunt to the meditation session, ignite520 is the kind of event that could only happen in Tucson. It’s steeped in the city’s unique culture and community. It’s no accident that it’s happening in historic Downtown Tucson, where some of the city’s most exciting developments are unfolding.

Above all, ignite520 is meant to be fun. It’s meant to give you a chance to interact with your peers in a natural way. You’ll get to talk about some of the latest trends in the start-up world. The sessions tackle Tucson’s business culture, how to find your audience, and other topics that matter to today’s young leaders. If you’re looking for a place to grow your networking skills, work on your development as a professional, and celebrate what it means to be a part of Tucson, then this is the place!

Who is behind ignite520?

Ignite520 is the brainchild of Tucson Young Professionals (TYP), a local organization of business and community leaders who are working to promote opportunities for growth in the Old Pueblo by holding regular events aimed at young professionals and partnering with local leaders. Above all, TYP’s goal is to make Tucson as prosperous and dynamic as it deserves to be by raising awareness of their community, attracting new professionals to the city of Tucson, and retaining the ones who are already here.

When does the summit take place?

Don’t worry, you haven’t missed it! This year, ignite520 happens on Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7.

How much does the summit cost?

If you’re a member of TYP, then the event will cost you $50 a ticket; if you’re a nonmember, then the tickets will be $85 each. That ticket covers not only the weekend’s sessions, but also the Friday night private mixer, the cost of lunch during the summit, and—of course—the coffee you’ll need for your morning fuel.

How can I become a member of Tucson Young Professionals?

If you’re interested in becoming a member of TYP, then you can sign up on the TYP website. If you’re planning to attend ignite520, then you might want to get the $175 bundle package (a $60 savings!) that includes membership and a ticket for the summit.

Where can I buy my ticket for the summit?

You can purchase tickets online: click here to visit the ignite520 website.

So, what happens during the summit?

It’s tempting to say: What doesn’t happen? But here’s a quick guide to some of the weekend’s events:

The summit will get started on Friday night, April 6, with a private event; the venue is a long-time Tucson favorite, 191 Toole. First up is a mixer with beer, wine, and appetizers to kick off the weekend. After that, attendees will get to participate in a long-standing tradition: the annual ignite520 scavenger hunt.

At 8 p.m., members of local bands Ryanhood and Run Boy Run will team up to put on a show. Every song they play tells a story, and each of those songs will be proceeded by a special performance by members of Tucson Improv Movement (TIM). It’s hard to think of a better way to celebrate the dynamism that drives Tucson’s ever-restless music, theater, and performance culture. Now, it’s time to head home for some sleep before the sessions get underway.

To get your Saturday off to a great start, you can choose between a civic literacy workshop—with free coffee and pastries provided, of course—and an energizing meditation and mindfulness session with a licensed therapist and wellness coach. The rest of the day features three dynamic hour-long sessions, where you’ll choose between several talks, panels, and workshops. At noon, you’ll break for a lunch session featuring a panel discussion between Randi Dorman of Downtown Tucson Partnership and Fletcher McCusker of Rio Nuevo. The day closes out at 4:30 p.m. with the closing mixer, featuring a keynote talk by Jennie Grabel, program director and membership coordinator at KXCI.

How can I learn more about each of the sessions?

The best way to find out what the weekend has in store is to check out the official website. You’ll find a schedule of events, including the subject of each session, panel, and talk, along with the scheduled speakers. It’s a good idea to decide what events you’re most interested in ahead of time. Once the summit gets started, you’ll have a lot to think about!

Pennington Creative is proud to be a member of the Downtown Tucson community and a sponsor of ignite520. We hope to see you there!

Use promo code COMMUNITY at checkout for $15/off your ignite520 ticket!

About the Author

Justyn - Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects
Justyn Dillingham

Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects