The Millennial generation will soon comprise the greatest number of decision-making professionals, so during our webinar on August 18th, Senior Research Director, Myha Gallagher, interviewed a panel of Millennial-aged meeting planners to discuss potential changes and trends in the meetings and events industry to see how travel providers can and should evolve to meet their needs.
Watch the video below for highlights from this discussion.
After our discussion, we followed up with these planners to dig more deeply into some of the topics covered in the panel. Here are the key takeaways:
– Although Millennials are known for their prolific social media usage, email is the best way to reach these planners. You can increase the chances of younger planners engaging with your email content if you include a catchy subject line that hints at what is new and exciting about your destination/hotel.
– If you are also trying to engage younger planners on social, LinkedIn is the best way to do so. Although there is some interest in following general destination social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram, Millennial planners generally use these channels in a personal capacity rather than professional meeting planning tools.
– Communication style should strike a balance between “professional” and “personable.” These planners appreciate a more humanistic touch when it comes to travel providers reaching out to them, but straying too far into casual turns-of-phrase can be a turn off.
You can also read the full Q&A below:
Q: Do you feel that most of your time is spent updating stakeholders, like your Boards and keeping them up to date on your site selections, health and safety initiatives, etc.?
– “While we are in the site selection process, yes, it’s pretty all consuming. We often try to book 3-4 years ahead, and then focus on the meeting planning for a couple of years before we have to pick up the site selection process again. We are wary to book too far out due to liability and the potential of the meeting needs or format changing.”
Q: What’s the best way to share video and other destination content and updates with Millennial Meeting Planners?
– “Email is good – put something in the subject line about a tip to help limit liability, or a great new destination we might not have considered.”
Q: As a planner, how do you broaden your horizons and learn about new destinations to get out of the “we have always held meetings in the same old cities” without exploring new destinations through their CVB’s?
– “I get a couple of meeting planner magazines I like to flip through. The most compelling eye-opener I ever saw was a 10-minute talk kicking off the MPI Congress in Indianapolis, IN. They had the Indy CVB there and they shared facts about Indy that I never knew as far as meeting planning, and that has put it on the map for me.”
Q: How do you use social media for your work and do you think that’s a good way to reach you – i.e. through LinkedIn and Facebook/Instagram?
– “LinkedIn I use actively for work and will respond quickly to a message directed at me if it comes from an industry partner, and not just a random solicitation. Facebook/Instagram is personal and while I am connected with some industry “friends” I do not use it as a business means.”
Q: Would meeting planners use or follow a dedicated destination social media account that was focused on meetings and things to do with a meeting in a specific destination? Or would you rather follow the general destination’s social media account?
– “General – many of my meetings jump around the country or the world, so I’m always keeping my eye out for the next place we should go. I’ve not been tied closely enough to one city to just want to keep up-to-date on what’s going on there.”
Q: Should younger generations be trained to write more professionally in emails? Or should we embrace their conversational style as a generational identity?
– “I appreciate professionalism even as a millennial, and don’t like getting overly-casual emails. Now if we get on the phone, feel free to be much more casual. I prefer to feel like we are making a genuine connection as we build the relationship.”