|Serving up Learning to All Generations and Building Community at Meetings|
Liz Rice-Conboy, Technical Registration Experts, Inc.
As people work longer and also become life-long learners for longer, professional meetings have become places where multiple generations interact. It is increasingly more important to cater learning to the preferences of multiple generations at meetings and events. Media and professional organizations alike drop generational names like Boomers, Xers or Millenials as if everyone in the group can be explained by the year that they are born. America’s five living generations are identified as the “GI Generation,” born 1901-1926; “Silent Generation,” born 1927-1945; “Boomers,” born 1946-1964; “Generation X,” born 1965-1981; and the “Millennials,” born 1982-2010.
There is no denying that generational differences exist in people’s preferences and to some extent in their values. Given these differences, it is important that meeting planners, presenters and educators take into consideration these differences when planning educational activities. Don’t worry; a survey conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership in 2004 concluded that people from all generations seek a chance for self development. Each person may seek self development, participation, and methods of learning in different ways. Meeting planners can run an event, activity or meeting opportunity to potential meeting attendees with the following generational preferences in mind:
Providing the best learning opportunities to all the generations in one venue may be a challenge. It is essential to be aware of these learning differences between generations though and adapt the opportunities to their needs - there is no doubt it will strengthen your attendance and bottom line!References
Teaching Across Generations: Syllabus. Baker College Effective Teaching and Learning Department. December 2004. http://www.mcc.edu/pdf/pdo/teaching_across_gen.pdf