What does Generation Y really want from meetings and events, and how is the MICE industry responding to the needs of this growing demographic?
According to marketing agency Rosetta, more than half of millennials – those aged between approximately 18 and 35 – would give up their sense of smell rather than give up technology.
Event planners are faced with the challenge of catering for these meeting attendees without alienating everyone else.
This need for speed and digestible facts applies when receiving information from event planners: “Everything needs to be top-line,” says Chris Goundrill, account manager at CWT Meetings & Events. “These people want stats rather than a blurb, or a five-page report about who is attending the meeting. It’s about top-level information only.”
Technology is not just a tool for Generation Y, but a lifeline, and being able to use their portable devices in meetings – rather than the pen and paper provided – is a must.
Creating a Twitter hashtag for a conference, then encouraging delegates to pose questions via social media and take part in live polls during event sessions can simultaneously promote the host company while improving interaction in a way that appeals to Generation Y.
The cost and speed of a venue’s wifi will be the first thing millennials want to know about an event. Venues are increasingly offering to wall off wifi service, ensuring that a certain amount of bandwidth is reserved strictly for meeting attendees.
Event spaces fit for millennials
• Marriott International launched the Moxy Milan on Sept. 1 – the first hotel of its new Moxy brand designed specifically for millennial travelers. The property has two meeting spaces within the main public area with glass writing walls
• The Doyle Collection will soon reopen the meeting space at The Westbury Hotel in Dublin, with a 100-square foot video wall enabling presentations and videos in high definition, along with other cutting edge technology features.
• Apex Hotels is rethinking its meetings spaces to offer more intuitive social areas for coffee breaks. The hotel group also recently launched an online booking tool for meetings.
• Edwardian Group is currently working on a Brain Box concept for its UK and Ireland hotels to offer adaptable meeting space that enhances creativity by removing some of the more traditional elements.