What I Learned at a Conference for Millennials
The millennial conference [ MCON ] was in D.C. last week and it. was. awesome.
Personally, I love watching TED Talks, they're super inspiring and informative ESPECIALLY if you find the right talk for you. MCON is like attending a bunch of TED talk-like-talks. Speakers took the stage each day at The National Geographic Building to discuss topics that sparked the interest of the many millennials in the audience and anyone else interested in impactful things for that matter. Audience members were also able to ask questions anonymously by logging into a live portal on their phones, tablets, or laptops... which for a change, was highly encouraged to be out during the entire conference. If you had the live portal open you could see what other people in the crowd were asking and voted on the questions you wanted answered the most by the current speaker on stage. Speakers had no filter either, which made it an even more enjoyable experience. They touched on everything. Serious matters, like how this generation uses social media to speak out against tragedies like Orlando, to more light-hearted stuff, like the head-turning talk from a female entrepreneur that invented highly durable period panties. Interested yet? At night conference attendees were invited to parties hosted by big names such as NYLON & TUMBLR at cool locations around the city, like the insta-famous Renwick Gallery. MCON ended it's 3 day stay in D.C. with a block party right in front of the National Geographic building - food trucks, giveaways from sponsors, open bar, etc etc. These events were great for those wanting to connect with other attendees - which was almost on everyones agenda come sunset considering even the speakers came out to mix and mingle.
So would I go back to MCON next year? Hell yea. The talks are worth purchasing a ticket alone. The chance to further your connections in the evening was just an awesome added bonus if ya ask me.
Advice, Inspo & Information from a few of our Favorite MCON Speakers
Company | Instagram
Speaker: John Tass Parker (Twitter @johntassparker)
Instagram has 500 million active users worldwide and 95 million photos are put up every single day
"In 2015 there were more photos captured on mobile phones than there were in the entire analog era."
Company | National Geographic
Speaker: Jean Case, Chairman of the National Geographic + CEO of The Case Foundation (Twitter: @JeanCase)
Inspiration: From our very roots we’ve been investing in young people. Thomas Edison received his first patent at 22 - when he was lighting up the world. Millennials believe in technology and innovation and so do we…get people to care while there’s still time
Sad Truth: There’s only 350 elephants left on the planet. Illegal elephant tusk trade isn’t helping either, Elephant ivory is a key source of funding for the armed and dangerous groups in central Africa.
...But wait this is awesome: NatGeo commissioned the creation of artificial tusks with hidden GPS trackers to track illegal tusk trade. (talk about innovative and inspiring!)
Whoa: Sarah Parcak, a satellite archaeologist, uses satellite technology to uncover things beneath the earth. She has discovered 17 new pyramids underground in Egypt.
In 2015: NatGeo discovered a glow in the dark turtle, the first biofluorescent reptile ever recorded.
Questions From The Audience:
> Do you need money to start something and make a difference?
What you need to start with is a really good idea. If you have a really great idea and you can prove that it can change the world, we’re going to listen very carefully.
> What advice do you have for millennials that might not have the ability or luxury of failing at work?
Nothing good comes from playing it safe. To make big change you have to go to a pretty uncomfortable place. The only way to de-risk is risk.Too often we do a disservice to people by not talking about our failures. Thomas Edison, Elon Musk - they’ve failed and continue to fail routinely but own up to it because they know it takes failure to achieve great success.
"Albert Einstein once said, failure is success in progress. Most Adults don’t like talking about their failures."
Company: Independent Journal Review
Speaker: Benny Johnson, Creative Director (Twitter: @BennyJohnson)
How do you get a millennial to pay attention?
Think what are the things we like to do in our downtime.
Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Advisor Truth initiative:
We never say don’t smoke. it would have a boomerang affect on consumers that’s why we approach it a different way ie. cat videos.
How do you measure true brand engagement beyond like clicks and follows: Those things don’t neccisarliy mean you’re moving people to action. It’s very hard to move people to action online. We have to dive deep to see what people are actually doing.
Company | Think Food Group
Speaker: Jose Andres, Chef (Twitter @chefjoseandres)
Inspiration: "We're thinking about going to Mars but we're not able to provide people with clean energy."