A great deal of energy has gone into attempting to understand the new and youngest group of people who populate our exhibitions and conferences – the Millennials.
Defined as 18 – 29 year olds, these ultraistic individuals have been stereotyped as a passionate group who choose careers that can make a contribution to life on earth. They are unlike their family oriented Generation X parents and definitely different than their success-driven, me-generation boomer grandparents.
Millennials are the future and organizers have begun wrestling with programs and themes that are relevant and timely to this new budding group of business people.
Recently an article was published in the Journal of Personality that shows a definite crack in the definition of Millennials. http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/story/2012-03-15/Millennials-might-not-be-so-special-after-all-study-finds/53552744/1
This study found Millennials were in fact focused on materialistic values, and less concerned about helping the larger community than the previous generations.
The author concluded that “The trend is more of an emphasis on extrinsic values such as money, fame, and image, with less emphasis on intrinsic values such as self-acceptance, group affiliation and community.”
Albeit this is only one study but it seems to contradict the common belief of this demographic group. Yet it may indicate a need for some caution before making changes that are too radical and might have the effect of keeping people away from our exhibitions rather than driving them to.