Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

Big Changes Afoot

Millennials Putting Their Mark
On Exhibits, Travel and ‘Sharing Economy’

Recent research points to the Millennial generation pushing big changes for meetings, hospitality and travel.

The exhibition. Young exhibitor attitudes and preferences about business-to-business exhibitions was the focus of the 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study, produced by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and sponsored by the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO). (Download the complete research report, which is free to CEIR members, $149 for non-members.)
Key findings about young exhibitors:
• For 98%, exhibitions deliver unique value in a compressed time period that cannot be fulfilled by other marketing or sales channels.
• Exhibitions accomplish multiple marketing and sales objectives for more than seven out of 10.
• Product/booth staff/attendee interaction and face-to-face engagement make the in-booth experience effective.
• “Friendly and inviting” is the top-ranked trait (77%) they look for in booth staff.
The study’s demographics: Age breakdown for respondents was: 33% — 23-28 years; 33% — 29-33; 34% 34-40. About 56% work in a booth of 100 net square feet or smaller, 35% in a booth of 101 to 399 NSF, and 9% in 400 NSF or more. On average they have participated in five business-to-business exhibitions in the past two years. Their role in decisions to exhibit: 45% recommend, 32% influence and 23% have final say.

Travel. Young travelers in particular are eager to use their smartphones for a lot more than they do now, according to a Cornell Hospitality Report, The Mobile Revolution Is Here: Are You Ready?, by Heather Linton and Robert Kwortnik, PhD. Their highest interest level for mobile device uses include:
— Receive notification when room is ready.
— Request room amenities.
— Check out of the hotel.
— View menus of hotel restaurants.
— Look at a map of hotel and property.
— Order room service.
— Check in to the hotel.
— Upgrade room before checking in.

The sharing economy. This is getting very big, very fast, and its impact is huge, said PwC in research in its Consumer Intelligence series. “Owning today feels like a burden” for 43% of U.S. consumers, and Millennials have a lot to do with this. Illustrating the scale of disruption, the report cited Airbnb’s 155 million stays annually — nearly 22% more than Hilton Worldwide’s 127 million guests in 2014. Similarly, Uber’s valuation a few months ago was $41.2 billion, exceeding market capitalization of Delta Air Lines.

PwC’s survey sample of 1,000 people cut across age, income, region and gender. Younger adults tend to embrace the sharing economy more than older adults, with 18-to-24-year-olds most excited about the sharing economy once they’ve tried it. So, too, households with income between $50,000 and $75,000, and those with children in the house under age 18 embraced the benefits of sharing.

While 44% of U.S. consumers are familiar with the sharing economy, 72% can see themselves becoming a consumer in this ecosystem in the next two years. One in five U.S. adults has engaged in a sharing economy transaction in entertainment and media, automotive and transportation, hospitality and dining, and retail.

The benefits of the sharing economy:
• Makes life more affordable (86% of U.S. adults).
• Makes life more convenient and efficient (83%).
• Builds a stronger community (78%).
• Better for the environment (76%).
• More fun than engaging with traditional companies (63%).

While four in five consumers say there are sometimes real advantages to renting over owning, 69% will not trust sharing economy companies until they are recommended by someone they trust. Click  for more about “The Sharing Economy.”Maxine Golding

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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