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ICC Sydney releases McCrindle research on business events

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ICC Sydney releases McCrindle research on business events
The convention centre has provided insight into Gen Z as it publishes event trends research.

Announced to industry at an event last Thursday at ICC Sydney and released to media this week at the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), the specially commissioned research identified six trends that are influencing the evolution of events in Australia.

The report quantifies some of the most significant changes that have emerged in business events over the last few years.

The trends identified revolved around delegates’ preferences for curated event experiences, socially impactful events, sustainable events, prioritising health and wellbeing, promoting human connection and integration of technology.

But perhaps what was most interesting in the research was what drove Gen Z, who are the youngest in the workforce, and millennials, the next youngest.

In the research, these two cohorts, which cover ages 18 through to 43, made up almost half of survey respondents – 48 per cent – and as Mark McCrindle told industry last Thursday, they are the majority of Australia’s workforce.

“Focusing on Generation Z, those in their 20s, and indeed the [generation] coming after, is not just a futuristic exercise, because as we found in this analysis, Generation Z is the most likely of all the generations, of all Australians, to have attended events in the last year,” he said.

“It’s Generation Z and their slightly older counterpart, Generation Y or millennials that are the most likely to have attended your events.

“We often think about these generations as the emerging generations, the future generations, but Generations Y and Z comprise more than half of the Australian workforce and as you can see, they’re the largest proportion of event attendees as well.”

In the trends report, 66 per cent of Australians said event content tailored to the audience was, at the least, very important. Amongst Gen Z, 65 per cent said experiencing something new for the first time was important while 59 per cent said being able to customise the event schedule and experience was important. Meanwhile millennials were most likely to value an event at which they learned something new.

For socially impactful events, being inclusive of those with disabilities or additional needs, involving local communities and showcasing local culture were considered the three most important factors, across all generations. Supporting local communities was the most popular factor amongst Gen Z, while for all other generations it was supporting local businesses and organisations. Gen Z, followed by millennials were also the most likely to value being able to contribute to an event.   

Generation Z – followed not too far behind by Gen Y – were also the most likely to see the sustainability of an event as important, with 62 per cent of Gen Z and 58 per cent of millennials agreeing that environmentally friendly and sustainable practices were very or extremely important at events. This drops to 42 per cent amongst baby boomers. The top eight factors for sustainable events nominated by respondents all related in some way to minimising waste.

Events prioritising health and wellbeing were most important to millennials, followed by Gen Z.

In the realm of human connection at events, Gen Z were most likely to value the ability to forge new connections at an event, but, interestingly, also valued the role of social media in making this happen in the event context. Fifty-six per cent of Gen Z said social media was very effective at promoting connection with others at an event, compared with just 26 per cent of baby boomers.

In terms of the integration of technology for events, one particular statistic that came out of the report is stark – 70 per cent of respondents said an easy registration and sign in process was important to the event experience, highlighting the need for efficient registration technology, both pre-event and onsite.

Millennials were the most likely to value technology integration at events – 62 per cent of Gen Y said this was important – with Gen Z a little behind at 56 per cent and baby boomers way back at 31 per cent.

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