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Millennials now have a conference about Millennials

The Internet of Things, the Consumer Electronics Show, World Cities Summit: These are themes for conferences I've become accustomed to.

But when I heard there's a Millennial conference coming to town, I wasn't sure what to think.

How does just the age of two billion people on earth warrant it's own conference?

The Millennial 20/20 Summit was a two day event in Singapore dedicated to next generation commerce. Even though it was the first of its kind to arrive in Asia, the event already took place in London earlier this year and is headed to New York next year.

The 1,500 attendees were made up of not just Millennials, of course, but GenX'ers and Baby Boomers were there too.

Its panels including, "From Intern to CEO," to "Innovation is Not for Adult," were centered around themes including fitness and travel. The event brought together people ranging from startup founders to executives of companies like Unilever and Mondelez International.

In true Millennial fashion, it even had its own award ceremony, honoring the best startups during a pitch event.


Startups are awarded during a ceremony at Millennial 20/20 in Singapore
Millennial 20/20
Startups are awarded during a ceremony at Millennial 20/20 in Singapore

I interviewed attendees to find out how they'd describe a Millennial in just one word. The majority, despite being at a Millennial-centric conference and presumably working in some kind of Millennial-centric field, were caught off guard.

Sure, there are many things that are hard to describe in just one word, but this question seemed especially difficult for most.

Once the wheels began turning though, each response ranged, and just like Millennials like to think of Millennials, no two were the same.

Responses included innovative, opportunistic, high-tech, curious, creative, fickle, and multifarious.

One attendee, in particular, in the exhibition hall replied without hesitation: Nonexistent.

When I pressed him further, he explained that our generation is too convoluted to be described in just one word. "Is a 19-year-old college student very similar to a 31-year-old mom?"

(While he made a valid point, semantics didn't seem to stop him from showing up to showcase his product at the Millennial conference, either.)

His point is becoming an apparent challenge for brands and marketers, which became more apparent at this conference: Do companies limit themselves when defining the range of 16-year-old to 36-year-old consumer as just one demographic? With rapid advancements in tech, the apps on someones phone, spending power, and lifestyle preferences, the range of behavior is presumably more drastic than they've ever been in history.

Then I realized this. Even asking attendees to try to define a millennial in one entire sentence, could prove impossible.

Disclosure: CNBC is the global broadcast partner for Millennial 20/20.