‘Boo’ on Halloween Meetings?

Author: Barbara Palmer       

Brooklyn neighborhoods love Halloween.

When business-event organizers debated the pros and cons of scheduling meetings that fall over dates that include Halloween on the PCMA Catalyst Forum, we noticed that answers tended to differ sharply, depending on the age of respondents.  So we reached out to Amy Lynch, a Nashville-based generations researcher, keynote speaker, and consultant, for her take on the issue:

“Generational differences come into play in a big way on this one,” Lynch said. Back when conferences were full of Boomers, you might have planned a meeting on Halloween without much pushback. As a generation, Boomers always put work first and family second. But that’s not true of Generation X.

Generation X “will be at home, handing out candy. And millennials are likely to react in the same way. About 30 percent are parents already, and they are parenting closely. It’s hard to imagine that Millennial parents would skip Halloween with their kids.”

Gen X and millennials “put place, community, and lifestyle above work,” Lynch said. “I’d stay away from holidays unless you’re creating family-friendly events,” she concluded.

Lynch’s use of the word “holiday” is interesting in its own right: According to a recent ABC poll, 27 percent of Americans consider Halloween to be a holiday, while 44 percent consider it a “celebration.”

What do you think?