There have been countless articles written on what Millennials want. The stereotype paints them as egocentric do-gooders. While the egocentric part is a little heavy-handed for an entire generation, their interest in changing the world is evident.
We’ve even mentioned appealing to their need to help others is a great way to get them involved with the chamber.
New Study Reveals Gen Y’s Motivation
According to a new study from the Center of Exhibition Industry Research and the Society of Independent Show Organizers, 4 out of 5 reasons Millennials attend an event (as listed by respondents) involved learning. The study polled young professionals and asked them several questions on why they attend events and how they chose particular sessions. They respondents also preferred interactive learning to passive event experiences.
Chambers Events and Gen Y
While Millennials may have the time to attend your after-hour events, they may not have the inclination if there’s not a clear benefit to them in doing so. Marketing your event to a Millennial audience means clearly spelling out what they will gain from attending. Networking is not enough of a benefit for many because it’s not understood nor is it guaranteed, it’s something the participant has to work on.
On the other hand, playing up the specific educational value of the event will do more to pique their interest. Drill down into the details behind what will be learned not just a list of topics.
Lunch and Learns, and other chamber educational sessions, you provide cannot feature a speaker droning along for 45 minutes. Members of Gen Y crave interaction and feedback. Your presenter must involve the audience in the discussion and recognize its input.
Another poignant statistic revealed in the survey is that 42% of Millennials photograph events/sessions and share their photos with others outside of the event. Keep this in mind when you are planning your chamber event. Give them hashtags and encourage uploading. They’re doing it anyway. They also take notes this way by taking pictures of slides and boards used in presentations. Encourage presenters to upload their slides to Slideshare or share them in some other form.
Appealing to Gen Y means defining exactly how membership and event attendance will affect their careers and professional development. If you want to inspire them to action, don’t leave the correlations up to them. Spell the specifics out and they will see the value in attendance more clearly.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image credit: Norma Davey