From a panel discussion that took place at Lime Venue Portfolio’s Beyond Conference in 2018, the suggestion that modern delegations are looking for more emotional values from brands and businesses through their event programmes.
The discussion, which included; Leah Carter, head of events at the Association of MBA’s, El Clowes, project manager at Unicorn Events and Amber Maher, founder of the London Slime Festival, also debunked the need to separate ‘millennials’ from other delegates, agreeing that universal values remained the same.
Clowes: “The word ‘millennial’ is thankfully disappearing, it’s a slightly misleading term that paints a clichéd picture of an entire generation. The reality is that, as event planners, it is important for us to create an experience that is suitable for all delegates and not just one specific generation. Every generation wants to be immersed in a brand story.”
Carter: “We need to focus less on millennials as a specific group and aim for more inclusion. Much of the issues we face as a community are not only for millennials and it’s important to acknowledge everyone in the delegation.”
Maher: “Brands need to have integrity, and they need to be consistent. They can’t just change their values on a whim because it suits them. They can’t lie, or dress up the truth, it turns most consumers off a brand, but perhaps younger delegations more than most.”
Clowes: “We crave authenticity, we can see through brands that try too hard. For most, it’s a big event turn off. Equally, as both planners and as delegates, we care about CSR. We love suppliers that help us to achieve more responsible events, and we appreciate going to other events that have the same ethos.”
Carter: “Authentic experience is important. It’s important not to ‘force fun’ or make things feel disingenuous. It’s important to not do things for the sake of ‘young people’ e.g. social walls and hashtags. If you do provide these sort of features, they need to be promoted fully otherwise they just look inauthentic.”
In terms of connectivity within events, Clowes also added, “Most organisers agree that modern delegations should have the space to connect with the outside world. Professionally, we’re living in a time when normal working routines and practices are being mixed up. We can’t just switch the phone off and lose ourselves in the conference content; we need to connect with the world, whether we’re at a conference or not.”
Jenner Carter, head of marketing at Lime Venue Portfolio, added: “The panel was incredibly well received by everyone at the Beyond Conference, and it’s important to hear the opinions of both modern event organisers and modern delegates.”
Maher concluded, “Modern delegations thrive on social contact and advocacy, they can be our biggest supporter and our biggest enemy. It’s important to be mindful of the values of these modern delegations.”