How to engage millennials in meetings

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'Millennials' is the latest generational term to be thrown around. It is generally accepted that the category includes individuals born between the 1980s and early 2000s. This means that the oldest millennials are now hitting their early to mid-30s, and beginning to make their presence felt in the higher levels of management. Over the next 10 years, still more millennials will be entering the workforce and moving into the executive suite. Numerous reports have been written about how to market to this generation, but few have focused on how to engage with Millennials at conferences and events. The defining feature of Millennials is that they have grown up around technology and are therefore shaped by it, so one of the fundamental guidelines for an event organiser is to consider carefully how it should be used   Below are five suggestions to improve your engagement with this generation at your event. 1. Use technology for crowdsourcing to design content before the meeting. This generation doesn’t have a problem with sharing information online – so use it to your advantage!  Ask what delegates are interested in before you finalise the agenda and deliver a tailor-made programme for your audience. 2. When presenting information, think sound bites. Ensure that attendees are involved in passive listening for no more than 10-15 minutes. Millennials are used to receiving information in small chunks, so break presentations up with an activity that involves active engagement in smaller groups. 3. Incorporate more peer-to-peer interaction into meetings.  Consider simulations, group discussions and exercises, and case studies based on real situations and scenarios. 4. Look for opportunities to incorporate gamification into meetings, conferences and trade shows. Be creative with your mobile apps and don’t be afraid to introduce an element of competition when you are! 5. Seek more sponsorship to make access to learning and development opportunities more affordable. Millennials as a group are hungry to learn – so the chance of an educational experience will appeal strongly to potential delegates in this category. Whatever your event, one thing is certain - business as usual and meetings as usual will not cut it with this crowd. If you feel daunted by the prospect of addressing this demographic, consider looking inside your own organisation for help. Millennials will undoubtedly be part of your own workforce, so try consulting them when you are in your design process – it could greatly improve your chances of hitting the mark and making the right impression.   Any questions? Email Jamie Wallis
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