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Thoughts on Gen Y

One of our sister publications that covers the meetings industry has a great blog, Face2Face. Yesterday, Sue Pelletier documented a couple of sessions at the ASAE conference on the major demographic trend of the emergence of Generation Y. That 76-million-strong segment of the population is coming into its own and tapping into it will be essential for every business as it gains more spending power.

Sue worked up a good list of Generation Y's characteristics based on one of the breakouts:

We broke into small groups to tell stories about our interactions with Gen Ys (even for the Gen Yers among us), then to find common themes from these stories. Some we came up with about Gen Y:

-They are fluent in electronic communication

-They are tech-savvy

-They can have difficulty understanding the boundaries between what is public and what is (or should be) private.

-They have self-esteem to the point of entitlement.

-They have short attention spans.

-They want the “easy button,” but want to be paid big bucks to push it.

-They are easy to please.

-They experience life through teams and collaboration

-They are service-oriented.

-They are excellent multitaskers.

-They don't accept the status quo

-They are unafraid of, and even crave, change.

Does this just describe the state of being a 20-something-year-old, one audience member asked. Yes, Margolis said, but some characteristics are unique to this generation, such as their experiencing role reversal in their families (for example, they often take the role of parent/teacher, such as being the tech guru of the house).

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