3 Strategies To Attract Generation Z To Your Association

Guest Post by Carsten Pleiser, Business Development UK, Blue Sky eLearn


“Millennials are getting all the attention from associations these days.”


Ignored is their younger sibling, the less focused, entrepreneurial, multi-tasking self starter (not selfie-taker) with high expectations in life. Traits that Ryan Jenkins, Millennial and Generation Z speaker, describes in an article for Inc. Magazine.


Coined with the term Generation Z, this cohort of today’s teenagers and young professionals entering the job market for the first time, strive to make the world a better place. And they might just do it.


Making up one third of the population in the UK and US by the end of 2020, according to Bloomberg, these forward-thinking digital natives, born from the mid-1990’s to the early 2000s have a lot to say and a lot to spend.


Certainly something associations should find worthwhile paying attention to, right?


This article explores strategies how your organisation can better attract, target & retain this most progressive generation to date and gives insights into Gen Z thinking and why they join associations in the first place.


So sit back and enjoy!


Gen Z Value Job Security & Prefer To Save Money


Gen Z have grown up in tough times. Most of them experienced the recession in 2008 and everything that came with it: parents or friends’ parents losing their jobs, houses and struggling financially.


Job security is high on Gen Z’s priority list. Gen Z’ers understand that hard work is required to succeed in life and they are ready to roll up their sleeves.


After watching Millennials struggling to land a job after university, Gen Z recognizes the importance of building their own personal brand early on, gaining work & volunteering experience and building authentic industry relationships.


And because Gen Z has lived through economic turmoil, they’re watching their wallets. The generation tends to be more interested in saving money and maximizing the value of every pound or dollar spent rather than buying for the sake of experience.


What Should Associations Do?


Associations play a crucial role in satisfying that security need as they communicate the benefits of continuous learning, professional training & education.

Stress that getting a professional membership is of high value and a long-term investment with immediate tangible benefits, such as on-demand learning and education. Offer access to jobs and internship / volunteering & mentorship opportunities.


Also think about ways to build a strong membership community to help facilitate networking and encourage authentic connections.


Gen Z Love Technology & Continuous Education


While Millennials pioneered digital, Gen Z’ers were born into it.


With 1.14 billion tablets and mobile devices floating around in 2017, it’s not unusual to see Gen Z kids swiping the ‘Unlock Screen’ of their iPads before saying their first words.


The generation expects to consume content wherever they are and whenever they want. They are excellent multi-taskers and totally used to dealing with 3-5 devices simultaneously, according to a research study.


Don’t be surprised seeing Gen Z’ers start their online training on their desktop and then continue it on their iPad on their way home or whilst having a coffee at Starbucks.


But digital is not everything to Gen Z. In fact, 53% of Gen Z prefer face-to-face time and choose full sight, sound and motion over text messaging via Slack or Skype.


What Should Associations Do?


Associations need to offer learning technology that works everywhere, is modern and convenient to use.


Gen Z expects everything to be available online and in a flash. While they still aspire to attend your annual in-person conference, they expect content to be also available digitally and on-demand so they can learn on their own terms.


While making sure your learning technology is modern and works on all devices seamlessly is key, associations should also incorporate video and interactive presentations into their eLearning and avoid static long-form text.


Gen Z Are Natural Born Researchers, But Have A Low Attention Span


Gen Z are great in locating and researching information.


In fact, 52 percent of them utilize social media or YouTube for researching purposes.


But don’t think you can attract them by publishing white-papers and lengthy reports. The truth is, they probably lose attention just after reading your extract.


With such a vast amount of information available online, Gen Z’ers tend to have a low attention span.


They are used to consuming media on various devices and screens and prefer visual content over long form text content.


Be prepared to tweak your existing content accordingly, repurposing it for various devices and media.


What Should Associations Do?


This generation has become accustomed to emoticons and auto-correct. In order to reach Generation Z, it is important to focus your marketing efforts on the use of visuals. Think infographics for disseminating large chunks of data in ways that will resonate with this demographic.


Think about using video to give your industry insights that special oomph. If you can grab their attention through mobile video in under 8 seconds and get them to share the content on social, you might be onto a winner.




Generation Z members want to take on the world and have a “can-change” attitude. They want to gain job experience early on, make connections, build their personal brand and continue to learn and develop as individuals.


They are most likely to get involved with your association if you can provide opportunities for professional development and mentorships, and have the vision to make a societal impact.


Stay authentic in your marketing efforts and showcase tangible benefits in your membership offering while also communicating the long-term benefits for job security and earning potential.


Blue Sky eLearn provides a full range of learning technologies, including a proprietary learning management system & a complete set of virtual event services. Blue Sky helps organizations capture educational content from live or virtual settings, then facilitates the management & delivery of content to a global audience through its learning platform.