Educate. Connect. Entertain. Communicate. Award. So are the goals of association conferences and live events. Making sure your live events are highly attended is a top priority, otherwise, you’re wasting precious time and money. Millennials are a huge demographic, on pace to outnumber Baby Boomers, and key to the growth of associations. Are you attracting younger members to your association’s live events?
Association Adviser “unscientifically” polled associations to ask how they are attracting the younger generation to live events. One in four hold separate networking events, at the live event or conference, for their younger members. This gives member millennials a chance to connect with each other and build their own individual networks that will become invaluable as they move up through their career path.
Including younger members within your event planning committee will increase your association’s young member attendance at live events. Remember, topics and venues that appeal to someone 20 years into a career aren’t necessarily the same topics that appeal to those two years into a career.
A social media presence at your live event is crucial to engaging your millennial members. Ask one or two of your younger members to head up this task. Added responsibility will increase their engagement with your association, and, make you look like the cool kid.
Create an award, or two, for your younger members. As you recognize long-time members for years of service, or, grand contributions, highlight stepping-stone achievements of some of the millennial members. Give them something for which to strive the first few years that they are members of your association.
Be aware of the differences in educational needs of your younger members as well. Provide continuing education geared toward those with one - three years experience within your industry, those with four - eight years, nine -12 years, and so on. Be flexible with what types of materials you offer and how the materials are disseminated.
Make sure you record and post videos of your sessions, seminars, and events. Those that were unable to attend will be able to see what they missed. Younger members are accustomed to learning by video and will think it second nature to receive the link to your keynote speaker’s closing address (and website, and, social media handles).
As more and more millennials enter the job market, the success of associations is dependent upon their involvement. Start engaging them now.
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