MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 11

than we are. Previous generations put
speakers on a pedestal like a rock star
for the day, but they don't carry that
type of weight for most millennials,
unless they're really famous.
So what can planners do differently
to ensure millennials sign up, enjoy the
meeting and come back next year? Here
are a few tips:
* Don't rely on tradition. If you do
anything solely because "you've
always done it," that won't be a good
enough reason for younger folks to
attend. It may mean challenging the
political powerhouses who want it to
remain that way, but it can be worth
it to gain millennial involvement.
* The "What's In It for Me" (WIIFM)
factor has never been greater. Ensure
you share with millennials how the
event will help advance their career.
It doesn't have to lead them toward
an immediate promotion, but do you
offer relevant learning opportunities
that will enhance their skillset,
connections to expand their network,
or just fun to escape the real world?
(That's okay too!) Be sure your
promotions explain what attendees
will walk away with that's beneficial
to their careers?
* Seriously vet your speakers! Require
multiple video clips for review, and
ask what their relevant takeaways are
for participants. (Don't accept generic
answers!) And contact someone
who's used them before to get
feedback. Attendees sit in the back
row first for a reason. They want to
be able to escape if they don't like the
* Shorten your sessions and focus
on outcomes. Attention spans are
getting shorter, and people want
content faster. If you're going to hold
sessions longer than 45 minutes,
be sure the speaker has a plan for
interaction. And tell speakers not to
give their background story during
their presentation; that's what the
speaker intro is for. They need to get
to the meaningful stuff more quickly!
* Encourage social media posts. Be
sure you have an event hashtag to
gather thoughts, memorable moments

and photos from attendees leading up
to and throughout the event.
* Want them to post photos? Offer a
photo-worthy experience! I recently
spoke at a conference where they
printed the event logo on the
desserts. Tons of people tweeted
pictures of their cheesecake with the
event hashtag, so it was totally worth
the extra cost for that exposure! Also,
designate a specific place for taking
fun on-site photos. Use a red-carpetesque background with your event
theme and/or giant picture frames
and accessories like at photo booths.
* Mobile apps are a must. Make
everything mobile friendly from
registration to speaker evaluations
and everything in between. Include
ways for attendees to reach one
another too!
* Never stop winning over your
attendees. Don't think once they've
registered or arrived, you've got
them. They need to be continuously
"wowed" if you want them to say
great things about your event and
come back again next year.
* Wi-Fi and charging stations are a
must. Many groups are able to get a
tech sponsor to cover these costs and
you can make cool kiosks extending
your event theme. Don't make us use
our data!
* Highlight how cool your destination
is. If it's in a cool city, that's easy. But
if it's not a tourist hot spot, make sure
to emphasize the unique amenities
the area has to offer that attendees
can enjoy while there's downtime.
Lots of millennials are foodies, so tell
them where the best local joints are to
grab a bite. (The local CVB will have
So you're thinking, "This isn't specific
to millennials. Attendees of all ages
want this stuff." And you're absolutely
right, which is why it's critical to
implement many, if not all, of these
strategies. But it's important to realize,
non-millennial attendees will usually
keep coming back if they've attended
for years, but the millennials will not, if
it doesn't meet their expectations.
Less-than-stellar meetings aren't going

The Mission of the Emerging
Professionals Committee is to
educate, engage and enlighten
students, recent graduates and
professionals transitioning into
the industry by providing them
with tools, experiences, discounts,
and resources to engage
successfully in the industry while
we welcome them to MPINCC.
MPINCC's Emerging
Professionals Committee provides
educational opportunities
and networking events in the
Bay Area geared toward the
interests of students to help
them begin their career and their
membership in MPINCC, with
confidence. For example, we offer
complimentary admission for a
limited number of students to our
Annual Conference and Expo,
including educational sessions,
a trade show, and networking
Join us! Our committee can
greatly benefit by having student
members provide the student
perspective and help us design
successful programs.
Learn more at

to cut it if you want to attract young,
talented attendees. Happy planning! ●
Cara Silletto, MBA, is a former state
association conference director turned
highly-sought-after national speaker/
trainer on understanding the millennial
mindset and reducing unnecessary
employee turnover. She works with
leaders in nearly all industries to
understand the impact of the shifting
workforce and their expectations. Visit for
more information.
P E R S P E C T I V E | fall 2016 | 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - Fall 2016

President’s Message
Innovation Corner
The Challenges of Planning Smaller Meetings
10 Ways to Millennial-ize Your Meetings
MPI WEC 2016: Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences
Thought Leadership
What’s Trending in Event Design
New Member Spotlight
Destination: Denver
MPINCC New Members
Index to Advertisers/
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover1
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover2
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 3
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 4
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 5
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - President’s Message
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Innovation Corner
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - The Challenges of Planning Smaller Meetings
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 9
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 10 Ways to Millennial-ize Your Meetings
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 11
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - MPI WEC 2016: Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 13
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Thought Leadership
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 15
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - What’s Trending in Event Design
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - POV
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - New Member Spotlight
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Destination: Denver
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 20
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - MPINCC New Members
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers/
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover3
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover4