Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

May 22 2014

What Your Millennial Attendees Really Want In A Destination

By David McMillin

As meeting professionals continue to chase after a younger generation of attendees, the sessions and speakers within the walls of a convention center or hotel are only part of what will attract that audience. What’s happening around the host location can play an equally important role in capturing the attention of this emerging audience.

A new travel survey from Marriott’s SpringHill Suites reveals that Millennials crave a sense of new adventure and daring exploration. While respondents ages 35 and up seem to shy away from hiking mountains and trails and bungee jumping, a significantly higher number of their Millennial counterparts indicate that these types of activities are often what they’re looking to do when they travel.

SEE ALSO: Busting 3 Big Millennial Attendee Myths

Now, your next meeting probably won’t involve skydiving or safariing, but the survey’s findings are important to consider as you design your next conference. A morning golf outing may be enough to excite your veteran attendees, but it’s clear that Millennials prefer a more untraditional approach to seeing and experiencing new places.

It’s Time To See The World

Those places aren’t just in North America, either. Thirty-seven percent of Millennial respondents want to set foot on all seven continents, which is a 20 percentage point increase versus travelers above the age of 35. That’s a particularly important insight for meeting professionals who may worry about the potential attendance implications of planning an international meeting. If the meeting program is initially compelling, the chance to add another stamp to their passports may help sweeten the deal for some young attendees.

Find A City That Gets Social

No matter where you’ll be hosting your meeting, there’s one easy place to pique the interest of Millennial prospects: the social networking world. Nearly 50 percent of Millennial respondents find inspiration from online videos and photos. It’s important to find a CVB committed to fueling that conversation. As you narrow your list of destinations, be sure to ask CVB representatives what kind of assistance they can offer in terms of shareable images, videos and posts that will entice your audience members to click the register button.

SEE ALSO: 4 Tips To Manage Your Multi-Generational Attendee Base

Looking for more insights on engaging Millennials? Click here to download a report on what the Millennial generation prefers in meetings, conventions and events from the PCMA Education Foundation.

Please log in to post comments.