millennial meetingsMillennials, also known as the millennial generation or Generation Y, are the demographic group that follows Generation X. It’s generally agreed upon that this age category is 18 to 34 years old or individuals born between 1981 and 1997.

According to information from the Pew Research Center, more than 33 percent of American workers today are millennials — thus, the largest share of the American workforce, surpassing all other demographic groups.

So what does this have to do with the meeting industry? Plenty! As boomers and matures retire and stop coming to conferences, Gen X and Y will make up the balance of your attendees. Now is the time to embrace change and be ready.

Below is a summation of the latest research available. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions understands and largely employs this market segment at our facilities and can be a valuable resource in developing techniques to attract them to your conference.

Recent Research Findings

According to a recent white paper completed for the American Program Bureau by Dan Schwabel, founder of Workplace Trends, millennials desire the following when it comes to the meeting environment:

  • 86 percent view face-to-face meetings as beneficial to their careers; they desire to know and grow their contact list. An independent survey conducted by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) backed up this finding, stating that 79 percent of millennials surveyed said they would like to attend more in-person events.
  • 75 percent desire live polling during the events. This can be obtained through apps, social channels or texting. The important thing to note is they want their questions and opinions about the session and speaker heard in a real-time fashion.
  • They desire contests and games. There’s a plethora of gamification apps that can deliver this outcome.
  • They want structure and instructions. Because this group grew up with very structured free time (soccer games, piano lessons, etc.), they are comfortable with direction on where they need to be and what they need to do.

Meetings Mean Business and Skift released a new report What Millennials Want in Meetings that states they desire:

  • A customized learning experience. Think of your meeting as a live, on-demand conference. They want personalized agendas that can easily change and conference information accessible on their mobile devices. Millennials want to be viewed as a single attendee with unique needs, not a huge group of homogenous individuals.
  • Unstructured prefunction spaces. Typically deemed as unusable space, these areas can be great breeding grounds for impromptu small gatherings and brainstorming sessions.
  • The ability to easily move from session to session. Rather than feeling stuck in a breakout session they don’t like, they want to quickly and fluidly move around and catch different sessions.
  • To be active participants. This is where gamification, social chats and feedback come in. They want to be engaged and interactive.
  • Local destination integration. Rather than staring at the four walls of the conference center, hitting the bar and going to their guest room each night, they want to experience all the venue and destination have to offer.

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Is All About Attracting Millennials

We at Kalahari understand the importance of attracting millennials to your next meeting, and we work hard at doing just that.

With fun and exciting meeting spaces, unique prefunction spaces wired with fast, reliable Wi-Fi and a state-of-the-art waterpark, you and your group have got to experience all Kalahari has to offer. Contact us today at 855.411.4605 to learn more about ways we can help you bring more millennials to your next conference or convention!