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October 5, 2009

EIBTM 2009 to focus on Generation Y – the future of the meetings industry

One of the hot topics to be tackled at this year’s European Incentive Business Travel and Meetings exhibition is the growing importance within the industry of Generation Y – those people born between 1977 and 1995. 

The three-day event in Barcelona, from 1-3 December, is dedicating sessions within its Professional Education Programme to look at the needs of this dynamic age group, and is also working with ICCA to continue the search for the future of the industry through its Forum For Young Professionals.

Generation Y is already influencing meetings and events in different ways, particularly with regard to technology. It is making organisers think seriously about what technologies can be used to entice people born during the 1980s and 1990s to attend and engage with their conferences, meetings, incentives and events.

With a commitment to providing best professional education, Rob Davidson, senior lecturer in business, travel and tourism at London’s University of Westminster, will be facilitating a seminar entitled ‘Motivating Generation Y – how you can design meetings and use technology to involve them?’ This forms part of EIBTM’s Technology Hour, which will take place daily during the exhibition.

A further Technology Hour session, led by technology expert Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball Associates, will tackle the subject of ‘Social media for meetings: What are the best choices?’ – another key issue in the attempt to attract the younger Y generation, which is very much at home with Web 2.0 and social media, such as Twitter. According to EIBTM’s organisers, this workshop “reviews current social trends and helps work through the technology maze”.

Additionally, EIBTM, in conjunction with ICCA, is searching for what it calls the “future of the meetings industry” through annual Forum for Young Professionals. The two organisations are on the look out for 20 industry professionals, aged 30 and under, to join them from 28 November to 1 December. Key benefits for those chosen include familiarisation with the global meetings industry and its potential young professionals, enhanced professional skills, and connections and networks with peers from around the world, among others.

The four-day event is to be facilitated by one of the industry’s well-known figures, Elizabeth Rich, chief executive of the Business Events Council of Australia. She will be joined by Rob Davidson, while Corbin Ball will return to present his popular ‘Trends in IT’ session. The programme will also include a conference project, topical debates, educational sessions, networking events and a preview of EIBTM.

“This initiative, together with our other seminars dedicated to Generation Y, is all about the future of the industry which relies on young professionals to make their mark,” said EIBTM exhibition director Mandy Torrens.

“With ICCA, we are committed long term to help educate and develop the obvious talent that exists around the world.”

Selection to the forum is based on country of origin, current employment and a short industry essay. Applicants must be reasonably fluent in English and either work for an ICCA member or have someone within their organisation registered to attend EIBTM as a hosted buyer.

For further information on EIBTM and all the above initiatives, visit www.eibtm.com


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