Meetings Mean Business partnered with Skift to examine the answer to that question and learned that Millennials are communicating loud and clear what they’re looking for in meetings and events. They value face-to-face meetings, and they are seeking more interactive face-to-face meetings with more digital connectivity.
Phase One of “The Decision to Attend” study found that Millennials wish to attend live meeting and events even more than older generations. According to the survey results, “If circumstances allowed, nearly 65% of respondents reported they would attend [meetings and events] more often. Responses varied by generations, from Gen Y/Millennials at 79% and Gen Xers at 71%, to Boomers at 63% and Pre Boomers at 46%.”
Professional development is the most common theme among Millennial professionals today regarding why they value live interaction at events.
“I think it’s quite silly and misguided that people think we don’t value face-to-face meetings” said Linsey Odre (24), manager of client services at Five O’Clock Club, a human resources company. “We can be perceived as antisocial because we’re always connected, but if you’re going to be successful working with people, you have to be comfortable working with people face-to-face.
My main value for attending meetings is meeting other HR people to make new profoessional relationships and learn how to be better at my job. I think it’s pretty straightforward why we attend conferences.”
According to Michael Dominguez, Senior VP & Chief Sales Officer at MGM Resorts International, “Millennials want the same things every other generation coming through our industry has wanted - they want to network, they want to grow professionally, and they want to develop their careers.”
However, to expect younger members to automatically manifest connections is an outdated strategy. Jenni Kuchenbecker, CMP (27), Director of Education Services at Iowa Hospital Association, agrees. “It can be intimidating when you go into events and you feel like you’re the outsider who is entering a sorority or frat house where everyone knows everyone, and then to top it off you are about 15 years younger than everyone in the room.”
Read the full report available at products.skift.com/trend/free-report-what-millennials-want-in-meetings/.
2016 Meetings and Events Forecasts
CWT Meetings & Events has released its 2016 Meetings and Events Forecast. It predicts positive growth for the industry in the coming 12 months.
This year’s report offers a range of practical tips for those planning meetings and events in 2016. Tips include:
Plan ahead - be aware that some hotels in high-demand markets no longer hold space when responding to availability requests. Make internal decision makers aware, and decide if you can be flexible on dates.
Fuel your budget as well as your attendees - Adjust F&B patterns to manage budgets while promoting the healthy alternatives that remain very popular with attendees.
Tick tock - lead time for registration and venue contracts continues to shrink. However, by increasing the lead time for larger events, event and meeting planners can increase their negotiation power.
Get the full report at www.carlsonwagonlit.com