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Creating Corporate Events that Shine for Multigenerational Attendees

June 21, 2019

Meeting planners understand that the younger generation has a slightly different approach to learning than previous generations given today’s technology.  The need to create a successful, engaging corporate event that bridges the gap between all ages is a must. To fully understand what will appeal to each generation, it helps to clearly identify each age group:

Baby Boomers: Born between 1944 -1964. Currently 54-72 years old.

Gen X: Born between 1965 – 1979. Currently 38-53 years old.

Millennials: Born between 1980 – 1994. Currently 24-37 years old.

Gen Z: The newest generation, born between 1995 – 2015. Currently 4-23 years old.

Baby Boomers may be familiar with a traditional classroom or focused environment with books and lectures. Gen Xers tend to thrive when there’s a blend of condensed learning methods and tech-enabled tools aka spark notes and powerpoint. Millennials on the other, hand prefer mobile friendly learning, adept at technology this group will turn to Google and opt for learning that involves an iPAD or laptop. As the youngest of the five generations, Gen Z has experienced the most change of all generation groups, largely due to technological advances.  As such, this group is disrupting decades-long practices, questioning and striving for alternatives to traditional learning. They tend to move at a rapid pace, jump from one device to another and prefer apps that simplify life.

Design elements that appeal to multigenerational attendees

With this many learning styles  it’s imperative that your meeting and event design addresses each group. But just how do you design an experience, that will keep a multi-generation audience engaged?  We’ve offer the following suggestions:

  • Create spaces where people can interact with each other, along with quiet spaces for those who have a problem concentrating.
  • Ensure that there is Wi-Fi working throughout the space.
  • Add charging stations
  • Consider having iPads readily available
  • Opt for music that’s familiar to all generations to amp up the event and create excitement or to use as meeting transitions.
  • Cater to a variety of dietary needs with food stations.
  • Deliver educational content through a variety of mediums such as, lecture, participatory, info-graphs, video or virtual reality.
  • Mix traditional seating with lounge clusters and comfort seating such as bean bag chairs.
  • Use printed guides for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers with mobile friendly guides for Millennials and Gen Y.
  • Offer space for both traditional seminars and panel discussions, along with small group breakouts and workshops.

Corporate event design for multigenerational attendees

A successful multigenerational event should be about learning, connecting, and sharing. It has to provide a consistent experience for all generations, yet one that taps several learning styles and offers participants a chance to try options.

Incorporating learning elements that appeal to each generation will give rise to higher retention rates and greater engagement. Regardless of the generation, one thing remains constant; face-to-face meetings and live interaction are integral to a successful meeting experience. In fact, eight in ten executives prefer in-person meetings to virtual contact, stating that they create space for business decisions and boost complex strategic thinking.

When you’re ready to begin organizing your next multigenerational program, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and valuable resources.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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