Follow These Tips To Engage Millennials In Your Conference Experience


Millennials are eager to connect, participate and give says the 2013 Millennial Impact Report by Achieve.

Since 2009, the report has focused on Millennial behaviors that would interest many nonprofits and conference organizers including trends in communication, service and giving.

The report illustrates that the next generation is passionate about people not hierarchies, institutions, organizations or structures. One of the biggest report takeaways that conference organizers should capitalize on is that Millennials want to be actively involved and participate in an experience. They don’t want to be passive consumers and spectators like past generations.

How Your Conference Can Fully Invest In This Generation

Here are the need-to-know trends about how Millennials connect, participate and give that have emerged from four years of research.

1. Millennials prefer to connect via technology.

Mobile technology gives this generation instant access to others and information. They prefer to use social media, texting and email to connect to their networks. They favor search engines and websites to find information and opportunities to participate or volunteer. They also have a preference for online donations.

Impact to your conference:
Your conference information must be accessible via mobile devices. A solid, robust mobile conference app is a must to engage this generation. During the conference, announcements and reminders should come via text or the mobile app and not just from the front of the room.

2. Millennials crave and rely on peers.

Peer influence drives Millennial engagement to attend conferences and events as well as participate in programs. They are willing to get involved in causes they care about.

Impact to your conference:
Peer to peer engagement before, during and after your event is critical to your conference success. Your conference education must include peerology, peer learning opportunities that are participant centered and not expert centered. If all you provide are lectures and one-way transfer of information, you will repeal Millennials.

3. Millennials share in micro ways.

Millennials are impulsive and immediate. They will act quickly when inspired if the barriers to entrance are low and opportunities are present.

Impact to your conference:
Ensure that your conference experience provides solid connexity—opportunities to build connections and community. In addition to connexity sessions, guarantee that your conference education provides ample opportunities for short peer to peer story sharing, storytelling and peer learning. In addition to these micro learning experiences, encourage conference attendees to share their experiences in social media with hashtags.

4. Messaging must be mobile friendly.

As previously stated, Millennials prefer to connect via technology. Mobile devices best engage Millennial connections, information gathering and sharing. Organizations will know if their messaging is resonating with Millennials when they share the information via social networks.

Impact to your conference:
Your conference should think “mobile-first” with a focus on responsive design. Conference information should clearly demonstrate how the experience will help people or a cause move forward. Organizers must craft mobile friendly emails and text to connect with Millennials. This generation will go to the website first for initial information and then depend upon social networks to stay updated. So messaging has to be on both websites and via social medial. And that messaging should have a call to action and action-oriented headlines. It’s also critical that your conference post information and images to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis before, during and after the conference.

How does your conference engage Millennials? Which of these tips surprised you most and what changes will you now make to your conference?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  1. […] and preferences than your well-established members. According to a Velvet Chainsaw blog post, “Follow These Tips to Engage Millennials in Your Conference Experience”  by Jeff Hurt, which referenced a study by Achieve, these wet-behind-the-ears professionals like […]

  2. […] Important tips to apply to your conference experience to engage Millennials in your experience.  […]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *