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Millennial Exhibit Staff: Tips for Working with a Different Generation

Matt-hillGuest Blogger: Matt Hill, President, The Hill Group

Do you have Millennials as part of your exhibit staff?

They can be great staffers and make your trade shows successful or they can be horrible and drag everyone down and frustrate you to no end. Like any other generation, they have their strengths and weaknesses. So let’s dive right into how to work most effectively with your Millennial Exhibit Staff. And all of this info is from our live training workshop, “Managing Your Millennial Exhibit Staff” that we delivered at the ExhibitorLIVE! conference in March, 2015.

Take Advantage of Their Strengths

Collaboration: Millennials are great collaborators. They like to work in groups and with their friends. Millennials work productively with people they click with. Like their friends and friends of friends. They stay motivated and interested when the work is more social. Set specific goals, objectives, time frames, and boundaries, and their collaborative skills will result in amazing results.

Technology. One of the greatest strengths of the Millennials is their sound knowledge of technology. This can be a serious asset at a trade show because of Social Media, emailing, texting, etc.

Multitasking. Millennials are doing multiple things at the same time; they’re on the phone, texting, and working on a computer. Even though some recent studies have shown that multitasking results in a drop in productivity, Millennials seem very adept. Trade show managers should feel free to give Millennials multiple tasks and concurrent responsibilities - this really fits with the frantic pace of some trade shows.

Challenge them. Millennials thrive on learning opportunities. They want work they can learn from otherwise they are quickly bored. A willingness to try new things is one of their strengths - so challenge them. As the trade show manager you need to explain that not all of the work at a show is going to be new and exciting but it all makes a difference.

Understand and Manage Their Weaknesses

• Casual approach to authority.
• Not understanding seemingly arbitrary rules and regulations.
• Texting and emailing all of the time.
• Expect a constant stream of feedback.
• Use of casual language.
• Rationale or reason for every assignment or request.

Matt Hill is on the SLMA Advisory Board. He can be reached at the Hill Group

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