June/July 2015

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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32 | Ignitemag.ca | June | July 2015 Continued from p.31 How to find a happy medium? Lui envisions a Venn diagram that represents distinct genera- tional preferences. The sweet spot is the intersec- tion of mindsets, goals, needs and expectations. Lui uses catering as an example. Millennials tend to be vocal proponents of sustainability, healthy living and avoiding food waste. While Boomers may share those values, they also tend to be revenue driven and tasked with proving return on investment to stakeholders, Lui says. "If you really took a look at your ca- tering, chose healthier, locally-sourced foods and reduce the portions, you would spend less money because you're buying less food, reduc- ing food waste and you're providing a healthier, sustainable experience. That appeases Millenni- als, and you're driving down the bottom line for your Boomers," Lui explains. Ashton Wagner says understanding genera- tional preferences is important, but planners should pay just as much attention to learning styles, which transcend generations. "We have to think about engaging people the way they want to be engaged." Whitney Wilson, CMP, project manager, meet- ings and events, for Eventive Group in El Segun- do, Calif., couldn't agree more. She's a Millennial who speaks to planners about understanding her age group. "I've heard people say that Generation Y doesn't like to meet face-to-face, that we'd much rather be on our phones or Skype. But I think we're very much old-school in wanting to do meet- ings the way they're supposed to be done and that's to meet people, shake their hands and get acquainted with them." The International Association of Conference Centres worked with Development Counsellors International to create a survey exploring generational preferences among meeting planners. Here are some of the key insights: Mi ennial planners are concerned about costs, favour chic/modern facilities, and are engaged by technology and entertainment (i.e., evening activities, recreation on- property, off-site activities). Gen-Xers value proximity to the airport and restaurants, renovated facilities, vibrant activities, uniqueness and ac- cess to Wi-Fi and the latest technology. Baby Boomers desire proximity to the airport, ease of get- ting around, cleanliness, comfortable rooms with reading chairs and access to Wi-Fi and food and beverage. Matures, the pre-Boomer generation, favour proximity to the airport, ease of getting around, cleanliness, shorter walking distances within a venue, level of service and wheelchair access. 1945 1965 1971 WORLD WAR II GENERATION/MATURES GENERATION X BABY BOOMER z z z BIRTHYEAR 1940 1950 1960 1970 Defining the Generations GENERATIONAL PREFERENCES IN MEETING LOCATION SELECTION Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2011. Photo via Un-Splash by Samuel Zeller

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