PCMA Education Foundation Unveils What Matters to Millennials

July 1, 2012

A new report commissioned by the Professional Convention Management Association’s Education Foundation takes a look into meetings, events and conventions from the perspective of the Millennial generation to identify key motivations and challenges in engaging this emerging audience.

“What the Millennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings, Conventions and Events” reportis based on the findings of the largest survey conducted of its kind, according to PCMA officials.

More than 2,000 respondents ages 18-30 participated in the study, which was led by a team of hospitality and human sciences experts.

The experts included George Fenich, Ph.D., East Carolina University; Sheila Scott-Halsell, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University; and Godwin-Charles Ogbeide, Ph.D., University of Arkansas.

The findings revealed that face-to-face communication remains the most effective method for reaching Millennials.

However, the results indicate that planners must part ways with traditional meeting formats to truly engage this demographic.

"It is imperative to discontinue programs of straight lecture or basic PowerPoint presentations to satisfy an emerging generation of attendees," the research team said. "If you motivate the Millennial with an inspiring and fun event, they will come."

The report examines how Millennials define "inspiring and fun" and why they choose to attend – or stay home – from meetings and events.

By dividing this demographic into further subsets based on age (18 – 20, 21 – 24, and 25 – 30), the research team offers additional insights into internal differences between younger and older Millennials' expectations, needs and thoughts on technology.

Here are just a few of the selected key takeways from the report:

86 percent of respondents indicated that career networking is one of the primary drivers for participating in meetings, events and conventions

93 percent of respondents want education with entertainment

86 percent of respondents want structured meetings and conferences

More than 50 percent of respondents do NOT prefer LinkedIn, Twitter or blogs for communication

Less than 50 percent of respondents like lectures

Please click HERE to access the full “What the Millennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings, Conventions and Events” report.

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