Generation Z is entering the workforce, and seeing as how they’re the largest generation to date, they’re poised to have a big impact on the professional world—especially the meetings industry.
Born between 1996 and 2016—and currently making up more than a quarter of the population—this demographic has different priorities and expectations than those that came before them. As more and more Gen Z-ers enter the working world, the meetings industry will start to shift to accommodate them. It may be a few more years until they’re truly part of the landscape, but it’s important to prepare and stay ahead of the change.
Let’s take a deep dive into Gen Z and their preferences:
Aim for authenticity
Gen Z-ers appreciate authenticity, especially when it comes to entertainment. Unlike generations before them, they’re not swayed by reality TV because they see it as being fake. Instead, they gravitate towards platforms like YouTube—they view content creators as real individuals.
Take this into consideration when it comes to finding speakers and entertainers. If you’re trying to captivate younger attendees, hire popular vloggers or social media influencers that are relevant to your meeting or event. It will help entice a younger audience to attend, and could also provide a new perspective for older attendees.
Social media is one of the first things a Gen Z-er will look at to get information about a company, brand or property. So having a strong presence on various platforms—especially Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat—is key. Plus, your content should come off as genuine. Avoid phrases like “retweet this” and “post that”—this generation doesn’t like feeling coerced into action.
And when it comes to meetings and events themselves, make sure they’re Instagram-worthy.
Gen Z-ers don’t want to be bogged down with piles of papers. If you have printouts, text or email them to participants before the meeting, or make it easy to access the information online so they can follow along on their digital devices.
Also important: Keep presentation slides simple—more graphics and less text are best.
Interactive is imperative
They’re digital natives, meaning they don’t remember a world without the Internet. (This is also why they are sometimes referred to as “iGen.”) If a meeting doesn’t have at least some interactive components, then Gen Z attendees will quickly lose focus.
They crave connectedness
Generation Z has a desire to be heard, and contrary to stereotypes that they don’t like in-person communication, they want face-to-face interactions. (After all, this is a generation that grew up with FaceTime and apps like Snapchat—they’re used to face-to-face.) Please this preference by offering networking and relationship-building breaks at meetings, as well as Q&A sessions.
Socially conscious contributors
Gen Z-ers are more socially conscious than generations before them. Appeal to this by offering CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs, particularly activities that allow them to work with others.
To learn more about engaging this new generation of professionals, reach out to Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.