Members of PCMA’s Catalyst forum recently debated the pros and cons of scheduling a meeting over dates that fall on Halloween. We asked Amy Lynch, a Nashville-based generations researcher, keynote speaker, and consultant, to weigh in:
“Generational differences come into play in a big way on this one. Back when conferences were full of Boomers, you might have planned a meeting on Halloween without much pushback. As a generation, Boomers always put work first and family second.
But that’s not true of Generation X. Honestly, Xers never got the time and attention they wanted from their Boomer parents. Many grew up in two-income families — can you say “latchkey kid”? — or were children of divorce. So Xers began their careers and their families with a distinct about-face from what their parents had done, and put family first. A meeting on Halloween? The Xers will be at home, handing out candy.
And Millennials are likely to react in the same way. About 30 percent are parents already, and they are parenting closely. It’s hard to imagine that Millennial parents would skip Halloween with their kids. (No Instagram shots of adorable costumes?)
Furthermore, younger Millennials are awfully attached to home. When Millennials who are traveling meet, they don’t ask, “What do you do?” They ask, “Where are you from?” Gen Xers do the same. In other words, they put place, community, and lifestyle above work. I’d stay away from holidays unless you’re creating family-friendly events.
Xers put family first. A meeting on Halloween? The Xers will be home, handing out candy. And Millennials are likely to react in the same way.”