The Future of Meetings & Events

“The biggest challenge is staying relevant while planning for multiple generations,” Dana Saal, principal of Saal Meeting Consulting, recently told Skift.

With 30 years of experience as a planner — Saal is a certified meeting professional and certified association executive — she said that, for her, it remains a challenge to know how to craft a meeting that will appeal to an age-diverse audience.

“Designing an association meeting today requires honoring the older participants who continue to find value in the current, albeit dated, model while convincing younger participants that the meeting offers something of value,” Saal said.

More often than not, when we think of those “younger participants,” we tend to think of millennials. They are, after all, the largest generation in size right now.

But what about the generation who follows them? Are planners doing enough now to know how to reach that emerging audience of Generation Z?

While it’s easy to dismiss Gen Z as nothing more than a continuation of the millennials, the truth is that the two generations are not one and the same. Sure, the two generations might share some traits here and there, but they’re not exactly alike.

Members of Gen Z are true digital natives, and they’re often described as being more pragmatic, more cautious, more money-conscious, and more globally minded than their predecessors.

This week, writer Jaimie Seaton takes a closer look at what really engages this generation when it comes to meetings. Read the full story here.

What Seaton uncovered may or may not surprise you, but at the heart of it, the best strategy for engaging Gen Z or any other generation for that matter is to design meetings and events that are truly immersive and engaging.

— Deanna Ting

Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report

Social Quote of the Week

“Planning Events for Gen Z? Here’s How to Reach this Growing Demographic” https://bit.ly/2oFXdRl via @SocialTables”

@SocialTables on Twitter

The Big Picture

Gen Z Won’t Tolerate Boring Meetings That Aren’t Interactive: If you want to engage Generation Z, ditch the paper, be authentic, and keep those presentations moving. Read more at Skift

I Am a Designer. So Are You: FreemanXP strategy director Emily Shaw talks about the absolutely crucial role design plays in crafting events with real impact. Read more at FreemanXP

The Five C’s of Working with Millennials: Millennials grew up in participatory learning environments — and thrive in collaborative work environments. Read more at Convene

Hotel CEOs Say They’re Cautiously Optimistic About Corporate Travel:  Most CEOs noted some “weakness” both in their group and corporate travel business, but remain optimistic. Still, does this mean the pendulum might be swinging back in meeting planners’ favor? Read more at Skift

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort Is Losing Events as Organizers Balk at Controversy: While Trump’s DC hotel might be benefitting from increased business demand, his Florida estate is losing events following his callous and ignorant remarks about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s another example that organizations will not hesitate to move meetings and events if venues or hosts conflict with their core values. Read more at Skift

Next Generation Meetings UX

Conference & Event Websites: Best Design Practices to Encourage Attendance: The Internet makes it much easier for people to connect and attend these conferences. But without a quality website and a streamlined user experience, conferences can suffer a poor online image and fewer ticket sales. Read more at WhatPixel

Startup Buzz: Innovation Is Now One Quarter of San Diego’s Economy: The home of the annual ComicCon event is a haven for innovation. In 2016, 477 innovation startups were launched in San Diego, the highest number to date. Read more at Hatch

Dubai Expo 2020 — All You Need to Know: It’s the date everyone in the UAE is looking forward to, but what can we expect when October 20, 2020 rolls around? Let us explain.
Read more at The National

Travel Agent Plans Pricey (and Tricky) Trips for Corporate CEOs and Former U.S. Presidents: This luxury travel agent divulges the challenges of planning customized trips for high-powered (and often demanding) CEOs. Some of her tips, no doubt, will be familiar to meeting and event planners who plan programs for these executives, too.
Read more at Skift

Skift Global Forum 2017

Meet the Speakers for Skift Global Forum 2017: We don’t mean to brag, but the list of speakers attending our upcoming Skift Global Forum in New York City is one of the best for any travel conference, period. Check it out, and join us in September if you can. Read more at Skift

Subscribe

The Skift Meetings Innovation Report is curated by Skift Hospitality Editor Deanna Ting [[email protected]] and SkiftX Editor Greg Oates [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Wednesday.

Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report

Photo Credit: Coachella festival goers. Coachella and other major festival events first captured the attention of millennials and now attract members of Generation Z. Chris Pizzello / Invision/Associated Press