Discussions, experiences, networking - as representatives of the young generation and junior event profs in the meeting industry, we, Aylin and Hannes, were part of the panel discussion on "Meaningful Vocation: Valuable & Welcoming Work" at MPI's European Business Events Forum.
We are Event Management and Technology students at the Technical University of Central Hesse. We had the opportunity to discuss approaches and ideas for working conditions and environments in the meeting industry that meet the requirements of younger generations and attract qualified and motivated professionals to the companies.
The discussion with representatives from the event industry opened up the exchange to jointly illuminate different perspectives on an attractive workplace. A shared understanding of what constitutes the future workplace is of utmost urgency. Currently, different expectations and interpretations of the job's place in life are clashing, which seems incompatible with the current corporate structure for some employers. The younger generation is said to be too little career-oriented and resilient. Yet they all face the same problem: attracting young professionals to the industry and their own companies to position themselves for the future. Whereas a 40-hour week used to be a reality and was not up for discussion, companies today have to rethink their approach to remain viable and exciting for the younger generation. Lifestyles have changed, and work-life balance is no longer a niche product. Regardless of how you evaluate this fact, it is just as much a reality, and companies and the younger generation must jointly transfer this into the working world.
It was exciting to observe the reactions to putting flexible working models up for discussion and identifying their potential. Other essential points were taking more responsibility for one's work and thus working more productively and knowing one's limits instead of accepting the overtime typical of the industry as a matter of course. Here, the dialog between the generations is only just beginning. In addition, we saw that today's international discussion was accompanied by different mentalities, which adds further complexity to it.
During the panel and the subsequent exchange, it became apparent that companies are willing and interested in a dialog with the future generation and jointly question structures and work models. At the same time, this day showed that getting there is too complex to be negotiated "on the side" in a job interview.