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June 19, 2017

Study: Millennials Drive Shareable, Experiential Meetings

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Millennial attendees are looking for shareable, experiential meetings, according to a new report from CORT Events. Both meeting and event attendees want to feel inspired, connected to fellow attendees, and engaged in the overall experience of the event.

“The lines between work and play continue to blur among the younger workforce, as people are always connected and can work from anywhere such as the comfort of their own home, the local coffee shop, or trendy offices,” said Kevin Dana, executive director of marketing and product development, CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings, in a written release. “With so much information at their fingertips all the time, people are looking for 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.”

A program that encourages participation and active experiences is key for creating an experiential meeting, CORT Events said. Design and furnishings also play a key role in providing the right environment for these shared experiences. Leveraging principles of design can help planners transition from run-of-the-mill meetings to immersive, impactful experiences:

  1. Collaborative Team Environments. Generic ‘theater’ seating for meetings is a thing of the past. 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. 
  2. Plan your furnishings in a way that allows for easy movement and flexibility. Consider using curved or round seating that encourage a constant flow around the furnishings. Bar table groupings are also a great way for small groups to gather and work impromptu. Planners should also consider incorporating non-traditional seating around café tables or monitors. 
  3. 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 cannot be overstated in the current business environment. When attendees rush to find seating by wall outlets to charge their phones or other electronics, it’s disruptive to the overall experience. Instead, incorporate powered seating into your meeting designs. Introduce a variety of powered furniture to your meeting rooms to create communal workspaces that foster a team environment and encourage collaborative strategic planning.
  4. Comfortable Breakout Sessions. Comfortable soft seating not only keeps your participants relaxed, but also alert, engaged and more willing to participate. Comfortable and energetic spaces encourage interactivity that creates memorable learning experiences.

Planners must continually create meetings and conferences that reflect the evolving social landscape and rethink how they develop, design, and deliver events and experiences to leave a lasting impact on attendees. Chances are, they will remember the content better if they remember the meeting.

Visit www.cortevents.com

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