From the CEO: Including younger generations at events through festivalization

AME | July 18, 2023

Summer always provides additional opportunities to enjoy a delightful book, peruse magazine articles or google topics of interest. Whether relaxing at the beach, outside, or on a plane, we craft a little extra downtime to read under the sun. This week, I read an interesting article about attracting and engaging the under-40 audience at events.

The article states, "The workforce is quickly going from having a strong presence by Boomers (68 million Americans) to being dominated by Millennials (72 million Americans) and Generation Z (69 million members, half of whom will be of working age by 2025)."

Interestingly, the article states that 50.3 percent of people aged 55 or older are no longer in the workforce, lowering the average age of convention attendees from 51 to 45 in the past four years. The article also states, "For associations to maintain relevance in the industries they serve, their live events must be driven by empathetic communication, authenticity, and festivalization."

The article continues with insights into how younger generations focus on professional growth and career advancement through self-reliance. For example, they may reach for an educational Youtube video over an in-person event. A recent Freeman survey displayed younger attendees' biggest turn-offs at in-person events, with an over-programmed schedule topping the list. This is where incorporating festivalization into events comes into play – creating a sense of belonging and connection between attendees is important.

AME is listening to these industry experts and your feedback from last year. Our session lineup ends earlier at the AME Cleveland 2023 conference, and there will be more opportunities to network with your peers. Simply put, we will share, learn and grow – all while having fun!

In this spirit of fun, AME is holding its first-ever AME International Conference theme song contest. For those of you with true talent or interest, please send us a link to view the video of your original song to by Sep. 1. The video should be recorded in Zoom, no shorter than 30 seconds and no longer than 1:30. The song content should highlight things like CI, lean, AME and the conference theme: ReImagining Excellence.

A small group of your AME peers will narrow down the submissions to the top three. They will look for creativity, innovation and relevance to the conference theme. AME will select the semi-finalists, and votes by AME members and friends will determine the final selection.

By submitting your video, you give AME the right to use the file for internal and external marketing purposes and acknowledge that it will be shared on the AME website and social media platforms. You also acknowledge that the content is original, that you are the "owner" of the video content and that AME cannot be held liable for any copyright issues that may arise. No royalties will be paid.

We will show the winning video at the AME Cleveland 2023 conference. We look forward to the innovation and creativity of our AME family!

Continue to enjoy your summer. As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.