Events Council Blog

Working Better with the Workforce

Sep 27, 2017

It is anticipated that by 2020, companies will have as many as five generations working side-by-side in the workplace. While this may seem like a daunting cultural challenge to your business, some advice from a Wall Street Journal leadership guides perhaps puts it best as stating, “The key is to be able to effectively address and take advantage of the differences in values and expectations of each generation.”

In other words, being able to effectively work with the increasingly diverse set of generations could come down to being able to effectively understand the driving factors and the differences amongst them. For event professionals, this underscores the omnipresent challenge of finding employees with the right set of soft skills to work with customers and/or clients and vendors.

A few tips for helping a multi-generational workplace succeed include the exercise of conducting regular surveys to keep a pulse on employee demographics and needs, as well as holding team-building events outside the office to help team members let their guard down and get to know each other as individuals.

Another piece of advice involves the encouragement of younger tech-savvy employees to lead “share-out” sessions, focusing on new technology that may help your business grow. In fact, when it comes to the events industry, Dan Berger, CEO, Social Tables, believes the value of technology innovation matters more than ever today.

He started Social Tables with the simple idea that every face-to-face event should be successful for everyone involved. He says, “Technology innovation can facilitate this kind of success and can come in many flavors (e.g., enhancing the attendee experience, automating workflows, and so on). Therefore, the more technology innovation we introduce to events, the faster we will get to these desired outcomes.”

Berger believes that given the fact we will spend more time with digital media, face-to-face events will be recognized more than ever as mission-critical product that help organizations achieve their business objectives. This will drive bigger budgets, more events overall, and push event strategy to the executive level.

For those who may be entering the workforce, Mac Campbell, Deputy Director, Baltimore Convention Center, suggests being able to network every opportunity you get.

“I compare a career to a game of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in that you want to have as many solid lifelines as you can,” says Campbell. “When you’re in a bind you’ll have the expertise of the best. Surround yourself with a team that is better than you in areas that you wish to improve on.”

Dealing with multiple generations in the workforce can seem both exciting and daunting. Each generation seemingly brings new ideas and new energy, as well as new challenges. For event professionals, the ability to move teams forward as a collaborative unit, and focus on the strengths of each individual could ultimately define success.