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Professional Convention Management Association

Press Releases

June 24 2012

PCMA Education Foundation Research Uncovers What Matters to Millennial Attendees



Contact: Carolyn Clark
Direct: 312.423.7271, E-mail: cclark@pcma.org  


Millennial Meeting Research Reveals Key Factors in
Attracting Young Audience Members

CHICAGO, Illinois, June 25, 2012 — A new report commissioned by the PCMA Education Foundation delves into meetings, events and conventions from the perspective of the Millennial generation to identify key motivations and challenges in engaging this emerging audience. 

What the Millennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings, Conventions and Events is based on the findings of the largest survey conducted of its kind. More than 2,000 respondents ages 18 – 30 participated in the study, which was led by a team of hospitality and human sciences experts: George Fenich, Ph.D., East Carolina University; Sheila Scott-Halsell, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University; and Godwin-Charles Ogbeide, Ph.D., University of Arkansas.

The findings reveal that face-to-face communication remains the most effective method for reaching Millennials. However, the results indicate that planners must part ways with traditional meeting formats to truly engage this demographic. 

"It is imperative to discontinue programs of straight lecture or basic PowerPoint presentations to satisfy an emerging generation of attendees," the research team says. "If you motivate the Millennial with an inspiring and fun event, they will come."

The report examines how Millennials define "inspiring and fun" and why they choose to attend – or stay home – from meetings and events. By dividing this demographic into further subsets based on age (18 – 20, 21 – 24, and 25 – 30), the research team offers additional insights into internal differences between younger and older Millennials' expectations, needs and thoughts on technology.

Selected Key Report Takeaways

  • 86% of respondents indicated that career networking is one of the primary drivers for participating in meetings, events and conventions.
  • 93% of respondents want education with entertainment.
  • 86% of respondents want structured meetings and conferences.
  • More than 50% of respondents do NOT prefer LinkedIn, Twitter or blogs for communication. 
  • Less than 50% of respondents like lectures.

Learn more and access the complete research findings.


About PCMA
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,300 members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization's face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at pcma.org.

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