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Exhibitor News

international confex 2023

11 Feb 2024

Exclusive Collection launches The Big Re-Think for events

Exclusive Collection Stand: BCP2
Exclusive Collection launches The Big Re-Think for events
The Big Re-Think, Chetan Shah and Stephanie Hall
Exclusive Collection outlines The Big Re-Think for meetings and events

Exclusive Collection outlines The Big Re-Think for meetings and events

Exclusive Collection has launched its insights into the next generation of delegates and event attendees. The Big Re-Think is the culmination of quantitative research carried out in autumn 2023 in partnership with micebook.

The research set out to understand the motivations and expectations of Generation Alpha (those born in 2010 onwards) who will reach the workplace in 5 years’ time. With attention spans waning and gamification a growing element of daily life, the survey sought to understand how learning and development will evolve, the implications of tech advancements on face-to-face interaction, as well as the considerations event organisers need to make due to a growing generational spread amongst delegates.

The Big Re-Think is ratified by Chloe Combi an authority on Generation Alpha and a regular media commentator on the emergent Gen A worker.

The learnings from the paper present some big opportunities for organisers to reframe WHERE and WHY they run and manage events and instead consider WHO they run events for and HOW they manage dwindling soft skills and a growing unfamiliarity with face-to-face interaction.


Key learnings point to:



There are already very different life experiences, soft skills, and perspectives between a 24-year-old and a 50-year-old delegate. And with Generation Alpha on the horizon, understanding the generational diversity of delegates can enable companies to achieve heightened productivity, creativity, and more cohesive teams.  



With the voice of the delegate more and more prevalent at events; one-way learning is waning in favour of conversation and experience-based practices that shape understanding and deepen knowledge. Learning in the future will be achieved through conversation, collaboration and scenario-based situations which means the setting needs to be correct. The research indicates breaking down physical barriers (cabaret, theatre style, boardroom set ups) to promote community and to align with Gen Z and A’s social nature which responds better to dynamic, inclusive experiences.



Just as workplace design has evolved to provide agile lifestyle environments so too must events. Additionally, planning around cortisol highs and circadian rhythms can have a distinct impact on events and maximising the delegate experience. Notably, organisers need to pay heed to the fact that younger employees, 16-21 ‘adolescents’, have a different circadian rhythm to their ‘adult’ peers.



Misinformation, bias, algorithms, deepfake and polarisation of thought are driving the need for events. In person experiences allow for a more nuanced understanding and empathy towards different perspectives, reducing the likelihood of misinterpretation and the potential threat of misinformation currently found on digital platforms.






For Gen-A respondents, immersive learning and gammication are at the fore as non-negotiables followed by learning by app. And as attention spans decrease, quick content consumption and micro-learning will reinform the conference and events agenda.



When Generation Alpha arrives as a delegate what they lack in interaction, emotion, and intuition they will make up for in devouring knowledge, having an opinion, and upholding their personal values and beliefs. Having an opinion won’t be an issue; getting the room talking will however be harder to stimulate.


The survey’s respondents are recognised as leading corporates and event agencies across banking and finance, professional services, tech, and pharmaceutical industries and draw on an annual buying power for business events in excess of £150m.

Chetan Shah, founder and CEO of micebook, comments: “What is very apparent is that regardless of generation the value of face-to-face communication and live events is undeniable. Events motivate; in-person experiences bring brands to life; and face-to-face enables empathy, authenticity, and bridges cultural and social divides between generations whatever their tropes, foibles and thoughts are.”


Stephanie Hall, group director of sales & marketing for Exclusive Collection, adds: “At a time when the employee voice and DEI are core elements of the business environment, we’ve looked at what’s working and how event organisers can plan for the upcoming generations as they make their mark on the workplace. In having a Big Re-Think around how we harness the voices and ideals of different generations it isn’t just good for business: it’s good for employee and delegate experience and performance.”  


Exclusive Collection is known for bringing its legacy country house hotels to life through exceptional experiences that reflect today’s tastes and want for wellbeing. With ESG a key driver for the business, the hotels are regular award winners in business events and for leisure guests too. micebook is the definitive inspiration hub for event planners; alongside a digital resource hub, it blends content publishing with a calendar of impactful live events to connect and inspire an engaged global community of over 24K eventprofs.




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