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Boomers vs. Millennials: Differences & Similarities

For sustained member growth, you need to attract new members while retaining old ones. Technology allows you to increase engagement and extend audiences.

Jen Walichnowski Posted by Jen Walichnowski on Jun 19, 2020 11:15:00 AM

Do you know what the biggest difference is between boomers and their younger counterparts? How they access information. 

No matter which generation people belong to, chances are when starting their career, they seek out professional development, statistics, and information for their chosen industry. Individuals also seek to develop a network of peers and mentors who can provide guidance.

30, 40, or 50 years ago, people accessed these benefits by talking to friends or colleagues and joining an association. Fast-forward to now and ask how people are finding this same information? They are searching the internet. Which means that is where your association needs to be. 

Mobile, Multimedia, Members

As the older generation retires, you need to attract new members by capturing the next generation searching online. It can be intimidating to think that you’re competing with the world wide web, but there is good news. With the right content, you’re likely one of the digital search results. To make sure the younger generation chooses you, format your information for them. 

As an example, let’s look at how events have evolved.

Attending events in person was the only option for Boomers, and they were likely willing and able to arrange their schedules so they could attend. 

Now, not all members may be able to take the time away from their work to show up in person for a multi-day event.

Fortunately, we have the ability to bring information to members as long as they have internet access. Livestream your conference. Hold digital networking events. Deliver content on-demand.

Make your event accessible for members who can’t travel by repurposing it online. This creates more reach to existing members, attracts newer members, and communicates in a predictable pattern to younger members. Online content is proven to increase retention and recruitment. 

This same methodology can be applied to every aspect of your association. 

Do you run professional development courses or seminars? Host a webinar, record it and put courses online in an LMS.

Do you have access to statistics and reports with vital industry information for your members? Make videos about the topics discussed. 

Now, I’m not saying to completely abandon the old way of doing things. For sustainable membership growth, you’re going to need to attract younger members and retain older ones as well. You can do this by simply embracing technology to extend access to your best content. By providing a variety of places and ways to consume your content, in-person and online, you will be able to appeal to more members and increase engagement.   

It’s not possible to make this change overnight, but you can start now and gradually incorporate new digital solutions, creating a happy medium that everyone can understand and access. 


To further explore this topic and find out the key to engaging and inspiring your association members feel free to check out this book (Moving Your Association From Analog to Digital). Chapter four explains the challenges associations face with an ageing membership base and how to retain members and attract new ones.


Analog-to-Digital Cover
Chapter 4: The Boomer Challenge 

Roughly 10,000 people retire every day. How will you increase your membership when the boomers have left the workforce?

Find out in the latest novel by Dan Stevens, "Moving Your Association From Analog to Digital - Creating Association Prosperity" - click here to get your free copy today.




Topics: Insider, Case Studies

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