How to create events that impact millennials
Millennials make up the biggest segment of today’s workforce, making them the biggest pool of meetings and events attendees.
When you think of “millennials”, what do you picture? Impatient, fickle, job hoppers, disloyal, trophy hunters. Perhaps you’ve heard that they're tech-savvy, always connected, need instant gratification, and are hard to impress. This isn't surprising given the stereotypes out there.
All the traits used to describe millennials presents a perception gap between what brands attempt to communicate and offer millennials and how they end up receiving, processing, and responding to it.
Meetings and events that don’t take millennial preferences and desires into account will struggle to attract and engage the next generation.
So, how can brands be better at catering events and meetings for millennials?
Give them opportunities to network
Millennials value networking over most other aspects of events. They want to network with other people their age. Millennials may be young, but they’re not naïve. They know how important it is to build relationships within their industry and with people they can trust. Create opportunities for them to mingle, connect and network with each other and with industry players at your meetings and events, whether they are online or in-person.
Give them an experience, not goods
Millennials prefer experiences over material goods, and they want to be entertained. They want to know that they're doing something meaningful with their time and money. They are also more likely to spend their time and money on a great experience than on a material product. Focus on making millennials feel special by giving them something unique or interesting to do. Give them an experience to remember and talk about. Read how experiential marketing builds brands.
Let them share their experiences
Millennials love social media and take pride in sharing what they've done with their friends and followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, especially if they can show off the fun they had while doing something meaningful! Encourage them to share their experiences on social media. Use hashtag presets on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so attendees can easily tag posts with your event hashtag or venue name. Give them branded stickers to wear in their photos or provide a photo booth or a backdrop where they can take photos to share on social media.
Focus on personalisation
To attract and engage millennials, you want to create an immersive experience that is big on authentic communication, personalisation and engagement. Millennials want fluid agendas with many options that appeal to different interests and preferences. They want more freedom at events, so they can choose what they do and when they do it. This generation has been called “the most brand-loyal generation ever,” and research shows that millennials are more likely than other generations to make purchases based on how a company makes them feel about themselves.
Embrace technology to please millennials
Millennials are typically more comfortable using technology than other generations. But, don't assume they don't want face-to-face interaction too! Use technology during events like social media posts, QR codes and other interactive elements so attendees can connect even when they aren't all together physically at once.
Offer fresh concepts and events with meaning
Millennials want to be engaged and entertained, but they also want to feel like they are making a difference or doing something meaningful. They are passionate about causes and issues, and they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Give them a sense of purpose or mission when planning events. This will make them feel like they're making a difference or doing something meaningful with their time.
Entice them to travel and meet face-to-face
The millennial generation is the most diverse and educated in history. Millennials place more value on face-to-face meetings, making them most likely to travel — 62% more likely than their Generation X counterparts, according to Visa. As we have said, they seek fulfillment from experiences rather than things, making them more receptive to travelling and attending in-person events. They’re also blending their business and leisure travel. Choose venues and destinations that allow them to do that.
Make millennials matter
In the past decade, millennials have become an increasingly important demographic for event marketers and planners. Their preferences are pushing brands to create richer, more meaningful, and more engaging experiences. Fortunately, technology enables us to give it to them.
Since 1993, The Event Production Company has activated brands through events and experiences that leave lasting impressions. We will help you to conceptualise incredible experiences that will leave an imprint of your brand in the minds and hearts of the customers you want to keep.
Contact us for ideas and ways to create more personalised and memorable experiences for millennial attendees.