As show organizers, catering to the millennial attendee demographic is an essential factor in ensuring the success of your event. Millennials, defined as individuals born between 1981 and 1996, are now the largest generation globally and are rapidly becoming the most influential consumer group.
According to our recent research report of trade show and conference exhibitors, millennials are the most important demographic exhibitors focus on, with 47% indicating that this group was their primary target. With an estimated purchasing power of $1.4 trillion globally, event organizers must consider this demographic’s preferences when hosting events. Millennials are now (or will soon be) in a position to exercise considerable buying power, making them an attractive target demographic for businesses of all kinds.
In this blog, we will dive deeper into trends and insights that will help event organizers cater to millennial attendees effectively.
Technology is Key
Millennials are a tech-savvy generation, and they expect technology to play a significant role in events. They want to be able to access information about the event using their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They want to interact with exhibitors, sponsors, and other attendees on social media platforms before, during, and after the event. They want to meet and expedite connections with similar attendees through tools such as matchmaking (but they view matchmaking as something different).
One great way to cater to millennials is by leveraging technology to create a seamless registration process. Millennials are always on the go and want to be able to purchase tickets, RSVP, check-in, secure their badges, and access event schedules quickly and easily. Intuitive mobile apps that allow users to access information on the go are highly appreciated by this generation. In our recent registration survey report, survey respondents said that their attendees value ease of use more than anything else.
Another way to use technology to engage millennials is by creating interactive displays encouraging social sharing. Millennials want to share their experiences with friends and family on social media. By providing interactive displays and event-specific hashtags, organizers can increase engagement and widen their reach to more attendees.
Lastly, event organizers can use tech to elevate the attendee’s experience. For example, they can provide a customized experience by offering interactive activities like virtual reality, gamification, personalized experiences, and more that will keep attendees engaged and excited.
A recent study by Nielsen found that 75% of millennials are twice as likely to support organizations that practice sustainability and are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.
To cater to this demographic, event organizers should take steps to reduce their event’s carbon footprint. This can be achieved by using eco-friendly materials for event signage, reducing food waste by donating unsold food to local charities, and encouraging attendees to use public transportation or carpool.
But it’s not just about the environmental impact. Millennials are also interested in how events give back to the local community. Consider partnering with local charities or non-profit organizations to incorporate a community service aspect into your event. For example, attendees could participate in a volunteer project or make a donation to a local cause. Don’t forget to involve your exhibitors and sponsors who may want to donate their product after the trade show to the local community versus shipping it back to a warehouse – it’s good press for your show and the exhibitors.
And it’s also not just about displaying sustainability – it’s about following through with it. Make sure you communicate the sustainable initiatives you’ve implemented at your event, so attendees know what efforts you have made. Providing recycling bins may not automatically reduce your environmental impact, but it can also encourage your attendees to adopt more sustainable practices, leading to a positive ripple effect.
By prioritizing sustainability and community involvement in your events, you not only appeal to the values of the millennial demographic but also contribute to a better future for all. It’s a win-win situation!
Diversity, Inclusion, and Community (DE&I)
When it comes to catering to millennial attendees, promoting diversity, inclusion, and community is crucial. This generation values authenticity and transparency, and they want to feel a sense of belonging at any event they attend.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by offering diverse and inclusive experiences that celebrate different cultures and marginalized groups. Event organizers can hire or select a diverse set of speakers, performers, and vendors to ensure representation for all attendees.
Another essential element is providing opportunities for networking and building connections. Millennials often prioritize building relationships over solely attending the event itself. So, offering community-building activities will go a long way in making attendees feel welcomed and appreciated.
It’s also vital for event organizers to keep accessibility in mind when planning their events. This includes ensuring equal access for people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. Providing amplification devices, wheelchair accessibility, and sign language interpreters are just a few examples of what event organizers can do to make their events more inclusive.
Finally, it’s important to remember that diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords – they’re essential for creating real, meaningful connections with millennial attendees. Whether you’re planning a conference, trade show, or festival, make sure you’re actively working to create an inclusive and welcoming environment that celebrates diversity and promotes community. By doing so, you’ll create an unforgettable experience that will keep millennial attendees coming back year after year.
Create Memorable Experiences
This generation seeks unique and immersive experiences to share with their friends and family. A recent study found that 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than material things.
One way to create memorable experiences is by focusing on the overall ambiance of the event. Millennials are drawn to events that offer unique and aesthetically pleasing environments that allow for socializing and networking. Think of a music festival that incorporates art installations, food trucks, and interactive pop-up shops. Providing a holistic and well-rounded experience is sure to leave a lasting impression on attendees.
Another way to create memorable experiences is by offering attendees exclusive access to speakers, workshops, or demonstrations. Millennials want to feel like they’re part of something exclusive and unique. Offering VIP experiences can help create a sense of camaraderie and exclusivity that appeals to this demographic.
Lastly, event organizers can create memorable experiences by incorporating surprise and delight moments throughout the event. This can be anything from small giveaways, special guest appearances, or unexpected activations that catch attendees off guard and leave a lasting impression.
By focusing on creating memorable experiences, event organizers can cater to the millennial demographic’s desire for unique and personalized events that go beyond the traditional conference or trade show. With a little creativity and attention to detail, organizers can create events that will leave a lasting impression on attendees and build a loyal following for years to come.
Catering with thoughtful event design to millennial attendees is crucial in hosting a successful event. From integrating technology to promoting sustainability and community involvement, event organizers must follow the trends and insights to attract this influential consumer group. The purchasing power of millennials is enormous, and businesses of all kinds are striving to capture their attention.
As event professionals, our job is to create unique and immersive experiences that offer value to all attendees. By following the latest trends and insights, we can ensure that our events not only attract but also retain this crucial demographic. So, let’s embrace technology, sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, and community-building activities to create memorable experiences that will leave a lasting impression on our millennial attendees.