How many Millennials do you think are in our country today? Would you believe me if I told you there are over 83 million? Well, that’s the number according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Right now, millennials represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population.
Do you know what makes Millennials different from other generations? Well, first of all, millennials have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations drastically different from previous generations. Now Sassies, I know you may find this shocking, but Millennials LOVE technology and being constantly connected is a priority! Did you note the sarcasm there? OF COURSE staying connected is important for today’s events AND meetings! Not just for Millennials but for all of us! When is the last time you went to an event without your phone?!
Millennials are blurring the lines between work and play, as they are always connected and can work from anywhere, literally anywhere! With so much information at their fingertips all the time, this generation of workers seeks meeting and conference experiences that offer something they can’t get on their computer screen. They want an authentic experience that fosters learning and contains elements of surprise.
When Millennials attend events, they expect a shareable, FABULOUS one-of-a-kind experience. Have you noticed a selfie station at recent events you’ve attended? You can thank a Millennial! Both meeting and event attendees want to feel inspired, connected to fellow attendees, and engaged in the overall experience of the event.
Designing and furnishing events have evolved as well. Millennials EXPECT the unexpected! No more run-of-the-mill, boring meetings. They want to walk away greatly impacted and ready to share their experience with their social media followers! So how do you design a fab event to engage millennials?
- Create Collaborative Team Environments. Generic “theater” seating for meetings will not please this generation. Spaces that not only delight the senses but create a collaborative team environment conducive to learning, networking, and brainstorming are what Millennials desire in their event spaces. Experiment with different seating arrangements, such as casual seating vignettes and small lounges to make your space feel comfortable and inviting. Create unique lounges using Hexagon Ottomans or Island Sofas that encourage groups to sit informally, collaborate and help break down barriers to communication.
- Provide Flexibility. Furnishings that allow for easy movement and flexibility make Millennials most comfortable. Consider using curved or round seating, such as pieces from the CORT Endless Collection, that encourages a constant flow around the furnishings. Bar table groupings are also a great way for small groups to gather and work impromptu. Incorporate non-traditional seating around café tables or monitors. The Marche Ottomans swivel and can be configured on the fly for campfire style gatherings, plus they add a dose of color to keep the room fresh. Wagner Chairs and Vibe Cubes are great ways to add texture and color to a space while still maintaining comfort and style.
- Always Connected, Always Plugged In. Staying connected and charged is a hot button item for this audience. The importance of being connected to mobile devices and maintaining accessibility to charging capabilities is a must! Introduce a variety of powered furniture to your meeting rooms to create communal workspaces that foster a team environment and encourage collaborative strategic planning.
- Offer Comfortable Breakout Sessions. Comfortable soft seating not only keeps your participants relaxed but also alert, engaged and more willing to participate. Define large or small breakout areas with Miramar Dividers or Boxwood Hedges to allow for more intimate gatherings within a large room and provide opportunities for branding and signage. Comfortable and energetic spaces encourage interactivity that creates memorable learning experiences.
Millennials are keeping planners on their toes to continually create meetings and conferences that reflect the evolving social landscape. Rethink the way you develop, design, and deliver events and experiences so they leave a lasting impact on attendees. Keep your events fabulous, think outside of the box, and you can’t go wrong! I’ll even let you in on a little secret … if you plan a fabulous meeting you also increase the chances of your attendees remembering the content!
To learn more about CORT’s event rental collections, visit www.cortevents.com.