Report: Generation X and Y Set to Transform the Event Industry

April 23, 2013   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: event management

A report on how generation X and Y see event and exhibitions has been released by Amsterdam RAI. Here is what you need to know.

Generation X and Y and the meeting industry

Dealing with generation X and Y is not an easy task. It becomes really difficult to second their needs while catering for the event objectives.

The event concepts we still have today were born with previous generations. Therefore they feel extremely confident with them. Gen X and Y require new models of interaction. The old exhibition or conference models may not be enough to please them.

Amsterdam RAI, a partner of Event Tech Circus, has just released the first part of a series of reports giving insights to our industry.

How Was the Research Conducted?

One of the research’s qualitative elements consist of Dutch trade show visitors. Dutch tend to be very reactive to technology and innovative (they have the highest social media penetration in Europe), therefore the sample makes the research even more relevant for the years to come.

The qualitative data has been benchmarked against literature abou gen X and Y and on the event and meetings industry.

What Gen X and Y Expect from Events

The findings do not surprise me. In fact I believe that what I’ve tried to stimulate over the past 6 years is to embrace new concepts that served these demographics.

The report finds that:

Generation Y expects a real ‘experience’ when they visit an exhibition. In addition to acquiring information, they want to be actively involved before, during and after the event. Participation, co-creation and being able to improve and develop themselves are vital to Generation Y and they also want to be certain that a visit will be worth their while.

Generation X also has specific demands with regard to event visits. They want to know what to expect in advance of their visit, and place great store in trust. They require transparent, honest information that is as personal as possible. Gen-Xers want to know exactly what they are paying for and what they will receive in return.

What this tells me is that the role of technology and concept design are the two areas of concentration for the event planner that wants to succeed with these target groups.

Co-creation and participation are recurrent themes of innovative event concepts. Popular event concepts also clearly state what is expected from attendees.

On the other hand, what I gather from the report findings is the need to touch the event. Before, during and after. The need for a ‘real experience’ or to be informed before the event about what to expect are easily solved by most of the mainstream technology available for the industry.

Download the Report

Amsterdam RAI gives the report for free in exchange for some of your data and email. You can download it here.

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