Where are the millennials of market research?

Over the last year, every research conference I’ve attended has asked the same question: Where are the millennials? 

The speaker stands proudly on stage, waves their arms across the audience and asks millenials to stand up or raise their hands or somehow make themselves known. In most cases, three or four people are recognized and we ooooh and aaaah over this stunning bit of revelation. There are no millennials in our industry! How depressing!

Where are the millennials? Why aren’t we attracting them into our wonderful industry? Is our industry so dull and out of touch that we’re dying of old age? Have we doomed our industry to failure?

Well, I’ll tell you where the millennials are.  They’re back at the office. They’re managing projects, pulling sample, testing questionnaire links, answering respondent complaints, fulfilling incentives, and doing all sorts of necessary day to day tasks.  My office is full of millennials. 

Where are the millenials? Not at conferences.  Not learning about all the new techniques being worked on. Not bing impressed with all the great things we have to offer. 

Perhaps it’s time we teach and train and inspire the millennials in our many offices by sending them to a conference once a year. Then I wouldn’t have to hear that question yet again. 

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