Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, denotes those born in the mid-70s until the early 2000s. They grew up during a time when the internet completely changed all traditional media. These are the people who have recently and are currently entering our workforce.
At a recent PCMA Convening Leaders 2011 Conference (held in January), one of the most enlightening sessions was put on by a panel of students, the meeting planners and suppliers of tomorrow, to talk about where they see the industry headed. They revealed their thoughts on how the future of meetings will look, and here are some of their insights.
1) They do not trust traditional advertising, and make it a point to conduct business online.
2) Even so, Gen Y does feel that “face to face meetings are more memorable.”
3) Technology is expected to be a part of meetings before and after, they see technology as a way to enhance the overall experience.
4) In this technology they include online education; they do not expect it to replace meetings, but to instead “extend the life of the meeting.”
5) Big on their agendas is “corporate responsibility and sustainability.” In fact, this was considered as a must do item; it is “non-negotiable.”
Other important items included much of what we have seen in the past. They will weigh their attendance to a meeting based on the ROI of the event, if the meeting pertains to them and they expect it to enhance their own education. Security was also sighted as an area of concern. And though they are looking for a meeting to be affordable, they are also looking for it to be fun.
Finally, those future planners pretty much want what we all want when it comes to joining a company. They want to feel as if they are a part of the company family, have great job satisfaction, and be able to work their way up in a company. Interesting, they also feel that doing different jobs will enhance their work experience. This trend has also been seen among business professionals who are being called multipreneurs; following many passions and offering quality services or products that enhance other individuals and professionals personal and business lives.
And so it seems that the future of meeting planning is in good hands with Gen Y. While they have much to learn from us, it seems that we too have much to learn (and leave) to them.