Millennials and Meetings
Ah, to be a Millennial again. That up-and-coming group of young professionals between the ages of 18-30. Marketers and the media tried to stick them with the most logical label after my generation, the dreaded “X,” but Gen Ys seem to prefer the “M” word that matches up with their coming of age around the year 2000 mark.
Businesses of all kinds are trying to find out what makes this group tick, and the PCMA Education Foundation funded a report that focused on the behaviors and preferences of this generation in relation to meetings and events. The full report, What The Millennial Generation Prefers in their Meetings, Conventions and Events, can be found here but I wanted to share with you some of the more interesting findings on what young adults perceived as important in our industry.
When it comes to what they find valuable in meetings/conferences, the top answer was “I like education with entertainment.” It’s the buzzword of 2010: edutainment. This generation wants to be informed in an entertaining manner. Not a big surprise but what does this mean for your event? Don’t bore your audience! Book speakers who can deliver an appealing message in an engaging manner. You don’t have to have circus clowns or jugglers, but at least consider making a video submission mandatory for anyone you invite to speak.
Relevant is a key word here because the second-highest scoring answer involved Millennials wanting “engaging events, activities where they know they will personally benefit.” They want more than just strategic high-level quips. Be sure your education offerings contain real tactical advice on how to work better, smarter and faster.
On the technology front, Millennials want free Wi-Fi (who doesn’t!) and they enjoy having the Internet integrated into presentations. Keep that Twitter wall handy on the show floor and have your speakers consider using live response polling (like Poll Everywhere) or incorporate follow up YouTube videos in their talks.
Finally, and great news for our industry, is the study’s top response from Millennials on their preferred channel of communication. No, not email. Not twitter. Face-to-face. People, no matter what age, still want to shake the hand and see the face of the person with whom they are are communicating.
There’s quite a bit more information in the study available for free download from the PCMA Education Foundation found here.