Early results of our unscientific reader poll show that one in four associations (26 percent) are now offering separate networking events for young leaders at their live events. While that may not surprise you, did you know that 23 percent of associations tell us they are inviting younger members to join their event planning committees? These tactics eclipsed the number of associations that are cultivating a social media presence during their live events (19 percent), offering awards for young professionals (16 percent) or offering separate educational tracks for young professionals (10 percent). In another surprise finding, just 3 percent of associations said they are posting videos of their presentations and sessions. We expect that percentage to rise strongly in the years ahead.
“We don’t very often give Millennials the mic and ask them directly, ‘what’s important to you in life?’” observed Patrick Leclerc, president & CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. “We don’t ask them often enough: ’What do you expect in the workplace? How do you move around your community and what do want your community to look like?’ That’s what attendees and policy makers need to hear.”
Randy Fiser, chief executive officer of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) noted in a recent episode of Association Adviser TV that you can encourage younger members to attend your events by offering entertainment they relate to, plus gamification and student discounts among other perks. Fiser said that before a live event, ASID gives young members a guided tour of the trade show “so they can experience from a seasoned professional what they should be looking for in their conversations with vendors in the showcase.”