Under-35s want it all, seminar hears

The contradictions thrown up in how to incentivise younger groups was highlighted on the first day of Barcelona´s EIBTM show earlier today, in a seminar entitled ´The Now Factor: Examining the Power of Incentives for Generation Y´. The session, chaired by a panel of representatives from SITE´s Young Leaders Forum, saw delegates hear how the under-35s are hard-working achievers with a social conscience. “Generation Y are the ´just do it generation´, they are techno-savvy, expect to work hard, but expect more in return,” said Andy Besent from Intercontinental Hotels. “They are suspicious of corporate spin and are incentivised by causes not companies.” However his presentation was followed by one from Warsaw Convention Bureau´s Krzysztof Celcuch, who focused on the rewards younger people want from a culture that sees them work long hours. One of his main examples was Hydropolis, the underwater complex currently being built in the sea off Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, which he highlighted as a typically aspirational incentive for his generation. When the panel was challenged by one delegate that Dubai had “no environmental conscience whatsoever”, and was ”the most Sodom and Gomorrah place on earth”, they struggled to square the conflicting opinions. For his part, Besent defended Intercontinental´s environmental record, but admitted that event planners “had a very difficult balance to strike” when marketing incentives to younger groups.

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