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Millennials: Eager Road Warriors?

Posted January 19, 2016


Need someone to fly across the country for a meeting, trade show, or expo? Look no further than to your organization’s Millennials. As shared by a recent GBTA survey on business traveler demographics and preferences, 45 percent of Millennials look to travel more for business, compared to just 26 percent of Boomers and 36 percent of Generation X.

Although the study points to many different theories, the simplest answer is that this generation has fewer obligations than older colleagues—making it an opportunity as opposed to a hassle.

Noting this, the technologically engaged Millennial still believes that no amount of technology can replace the value of face-to-face meetings, opting for in-person meetings over alternatives like video conferencing at a 57 percent clip.

One caveat, however, is that the Millennial business traveler is less likely to float expenses on his or her personal card, with 53 percent satisfied using personal cards compared to 62 percent of their older peers.

So, if you choose to send your Millennials out to the next trade show, what will they want from the travel experience?

  • An Authentic Experience: Authenticity is an important concept for Millennials, and the ability to enjoy the city the same way as the locals do is atop the list of concerns. Travel, to them, is much more than about getting from place A to place B; it’s about creating an authentic experience. Whether it’s use of the sharing economy or the addition of a day to the end of the trip (bleisure), adjusting your policy to meet their needs will help in the long run.
  • Wi-Fi: Less concerned about common travel pains (security lines, baggage fees, delays), Millennials believe Wi-Fi (namely free Wi-Fi) is a necessity.
  • Technology: While face-to-face meetings are considered necessary, your Millennial business traveler will be using technology throughout the trip. From social media to booking apps to expense apps, Millennials are always connected.

“Millennials are the newest generation of road warriors and, like their more experienced peers, they understand that face-to-face meetings remain key to getting business done,” said Michael, W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO.  “Over the last quarter, business travelers across the board – Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers – reported that their goals were met on business trips, leading to greater satisfaction.”

For more information about Millennials and business travel, read through the following resources to learn more:

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