Error message

Notice: Use of undefined constant value - assumed 'value' in include() (line 27 of /var/www/meetingsmags.com/htdocs/themes/stark/meetings/templates/views-view-field--block--field-hide-main-image.tpl.php).
  • Understanding Millennials: Innovation is the Key to Engaging Gen Y

     
    FROM THE Winter 2015 ISSUE
     

Media and marketing professional Sarah Sladek has been researching demographics since 2002, so she has plenty of advice for engaging the perplexing workforce power that is Generation Y (people born between 1982 and 1995). Her book Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now examines the motivations and values of Millennials and provides insight on how to involve them with associations.

MNM+E: What prompted you to write this book?
SS: Generation Y communicates differently, has different expectations, and therefore has proven more difficult for organizations to engage—especially for any length of time. I wanted to write a book that explained why these differences exist and how to successfully engage the largest generation in U.S. history.

MNM+E: Why is understanding Generation Y important?
SS: By 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts Generation Y will become the majority of the workforce, which means they will soon become the majority of the consumer spend and the majority of the vote.

MNM+E: What do members of Generation Y want from an event or meeting?
SS: A really great experience. This generation has come of age with TED, SXSW, and Red Bull competitions and they cherish their time more than anything else. Unique content presented in quick, multi-media formats with a heavy emphasis on interactivity through technology, service projects, behind-the-scenes tours, or contests will really resonate with a Gen Y audience. Customer service, a sense of belonging, access to technology, and convenience are also meeting must-haves. And meeting and event planners will have to get really creative because Generation Y hates repeats.

MNM+E: What are some practical suggestions for event planners?
SS: All too often, people try to guess what young people these days want and all too often they fail at the deliverable or the followthrough. Ask Generation Y, listen to them and use their advice.

1. The building that is now the AAA Four Diamond-rated Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis was originally constructed in 1915 as the Minneapolis Athletic Club—a high-end athletic and business club. The Grand Hotel opened in 2000 after a major renovation, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants took over management in 2010 and underwent a full renovation that completed in 2011.

 

Here’s the one question you might want to avoid asking Robbie Harrell when you see one of his sculptures at an event: “Is that real ice?” The CEO of Minnesota Ice Sculptures says his com - pany’s sculptures are so clear and precisely carved that they prompt that question at every event they’re displayed. “Once people realize it really, truly is carved from ice, they’re excited about it,” he says. “There are always lots of selfies with the ice sculpture.”

 

Associations North, the association for associations in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, infused excitement, creativity and innovation into its one-day Meeting Planners Symposium on Nov. 9 at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis with its open layout, new room sets, quick 30-minute sessions, hub groups and more. Keynote speaker Tamara G. Kleinberg disrupted the status quo with her “Think Sideways” presentation that introduced new tools to and generate inventive ideas.