Nic Zito speaks at INBIA

Last week the International Business Innovation Association held their conference in Orlando, Florida.  Over 500 attendees joined from multiple countries to attend programs and network with peers. I was honored to be a speaker for the New Trends track of the conference sessions; my topic was on “Millennial Innovation” and Bridging the gap between millennials and the incubation and innovation space industry.

My keynote session centered around some millennial facts and trends nationwide for example- how are they viewing the current job industry? What are their values when it comes to social interaction and home buying? How do they view social causes? And how are responding to companies who are trying to capture their attention? 

Because millennials are the largest generation in the USA, they control an extremely large portion of discretionary income; because of this fact companies are always figuring out how best to reach them. The attendees of my session were mostly from the Baby Boomer generation so we had a great discussion on inter generational approaches to marketing. Many older generations understand the need to promote and utilize reach on social media, but are they using the right tactics that are genuine and will also serve to illicit buying decisions?

We discussed the immense battle that exists fighting for buyers’ attention. In a 100% mobile first world, everything is in constant competition for eyeballs. There are near 50,000 apps per month uploaded to the stores, yet think about the low percentage of these that you have even heard of, let alone ever crack the top 200. It is not enough to be loud and exert yourself or extoll the virtues of your company/product- you need a legitimate argument that proves the value and prompts a reaction.

As it relates to the incubation world, millennials are proven to value family/friends, community feel, amenities, social interaction, and positive social causes. As a group represented by different companies and space models- we brainstormed ways to foster and build great communities. Some of the ideas including making over the physical space to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional, hosting social mixers, attending group ‘Give back” days, and offering informational programming on up and coming technologies.

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