What do young planners aged 18 to 30 want? Networking opportunities, career development and a 'please-don’t-let-it-be-dull' mixture of education and entertainment. Or so said a new survey by the Professional Convention Management Association's Education Foundation (PCMAEF).
Entitled 'What the Millennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings, Conventions and Events', the survey found 86 per cent of 2,000 event professionals between the ages of 18 and 30 see career networking as the primary driver for participating in meetings, events and conventions, and 93 per cent want events that mix education with entertainment.
With an eye on the next generation of event planners and in an effort to “identify key motivations and challenges in engaging this emerging audience”, the PCMAEF reported that while it might not be surprising to see that fewer than 50 per cent of responders enjoyed lectures, it might be that more than 50 per cent did not prefer to communicate through established social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs.
The survey concluded that “planners must part ways with traditional meeting formats to truly engage this demographic”.
Ben Goedegebuure, director of sales at the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre, commented: "We're seeing a new delegate and a new buyer emerging within our industry and one that has always had access to new technologies and the world of hybrid events – we need to listen to them. They're not specific on new innovations; only that it adds to the experience and does not become the experience. This is important for our industry and underlines that content will continue to be king for a while yet."
The report also divided its findings into succinct age categories (18 to 20, 21 to 24 and 25 to 30) to gain even more insight.
Pictured: Ben Goedegebuure, director of sales at the SECC