Gone are the days when an event for executives would have the baby boomer generation. Most companies in the world today have an extremely diverse workforce. That diversity doesn’t just pertain to ethnicities or socioeconomic profile but also the generation. An event of two hundred people is likely to have the baby boomer generation and the millennial, the generation x and generation y. Thus, the manner in which an event would have been planned for one specific generation will become irrelevant and inappropriate.
Today, events need to be multi-generation friendly. The theme has to appeal to all and sundry, the presentations need to be impressive for all, the anecdotes or the speech of the keynote speaker and others have to captivate people of all ages and the entire branding and messaging of the event should also be able to entice everyone. It is no longer fitting to cater to only one generation or a certain type of audience. Any event is likely to have a multi-generation and diverse audience.
The secret to planning an event for a multi-generation audience rests in knowing what every generation wants. Let us explore this secret.
Those above forty five or fifty will love storytelling more than interaction. They are likely to sit patiently hearing a story or two and then getting the message through the story, mostly in the end. The millennial generation isn’t going to sit through that, not with interest at least. The young guns like interaction. Hence, the keynote speaker has to engage the audience. Something as simple as live polling to agree or disagree with an opinion, to endorse or discard a concept, or just to participate in the ongoing activities at the event goes a long way to involve them. And, this approach is effective in wooing all and sundry. Even the fifty five year olds will love the practice.
A multi-generation audience will have a considerable difference in their mindset and thus what they like or dislike will differ. To address such an audience, one needs to find the right balance. Punch lines that every generation can relate to will be much better than an anecdote used by a speaker from his or her own childhood or growing up years, as then it becomes a particular generational thing. It works when a speaker is addressing his or her generation.
Finally, the entire event has to be tech savvy. Let us accept one truth, the elderly or the ageing generation isn’t exactly from the age of the dinosaurs. Many grandmas are on Facebook and many grandpas are ferocious tweeters. Integrating technology, social media and all kinds of gizmos at events will make it multi-generation friendly.