Executive Vice President, HelmsBriscoe and Co-Chair of Meetings Mean Business
Paul Van Deventer
President and Chief Executive Officer at Meeting Professionals International and Co-Chair of Meetings Mean Business
We’re often asked: Do millennials value in-person meetings and events as much as prior generations? How has developing technology and the rise of mobile affected the meetings industry? Meetings Mean Business partnered with Skift to examine the issue more closely.
Busting the millennial myth
As a demographic that has relied on technology since childhood, millennials are usually portrayed as a group that prefers texting to talking and online to real life. However, we found that despite this assertion, they truly value in-person meetings. That’s because meetings help drive business, maintain professional relationships and promote personal and professional development better than any other medium. And while a lot has changed from generation to generation, this is one thing that has remained constant.
Navigating a changing world
Today, there is a more unpredictable job market, less certainty around career paths and the corporate ladder is a thing of the past. In this environment, millennials have come to rely on face-to-face meetings to expand their network, customize self-education and personalize career paths.
Perhaps more than any other generation, millennials are looking to develop external professional networks and engage in real world education. Our research found that they believe a wide network of professional contacts and continuing education is more important than advanced degrees or longevity with any one company for professional growth opportunities. Corporate and association meetings are one of the few places to accomplish both.
Providing a platform
Millennials are looking for meeting opportunities that provide interactive workshops, panels and networking opportunities that can’t be duplicated online. They want a unique education experience that resonates with them. Meetings are a learning platform to develop skills and keep up with changes in technology or sector. At the same time, in-person events act as a forum to make higher quality connections with people that share the same interest.
In-person meetings, coupled with new event technology, provide a platform for millennials to network, engage with other professionals and grow and develop their career paths.