The Next Generation of Meetings

As the end of the year approaches—at least according to the holiday ads already overpopulating everything—it's time once again to start musing on what will be trending for 2015. Whatever will be happening in food and beverage or keynote speakers, one thing we can count on seeing is more millennials entering the workforce—and attending meetings. How to attract them has been a hot topic for a while, but maybe we need to rethink our approach to multigeneration-friendly meetings.

Sure, there may be some differences, but when you look at things millennials in particular find attractive—like cheaper registration, an easier and more streamlined registration process, and making learning more fun and interactive—well, I may technically be a boomer, but that all sounds pretty good to me.

The biggest difference may end up being that, while older folks may want great storytelling that draws you in, and having an option to put what we're learning into action right at the conference, and education that's personalized to our specific needs, our expectations, based on years of experiencing meetings that don't do any of this, cause us to set the bar a lot lower. It's not that we don't want a meeting that include these five things millennials expect, just that we don't expect them. So, surprise us!

Maybe, as one of my colleagues suggested recently, maybe it's time to stop thinking in terms of catering to specific generations. As she pointed out, the whole "multigenerational deal is over. Grandma’s on Facebook, we all combine our work and personal lives, we’re all connected"—and we all want a meeting that is designed to provide learning and connections. And can accomplish it in a fun, engaging way.


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