Millennials already represent one-third of the population in the United States, Europe and Asia and within 10 years, they’ll make up 70% of the workforce.
Their influence is reshaping the event industry and as more of their tech-savvy Generation Z counterparts enter the workforce each year, both of these audience groups will increasingly be the key driver of your success.
Both group’s relationship with the internet has undoubtedly influenced their approach to life and work. Millennials and Gen-Z like to work in places they enjoy being and meet in places where they can socialise in an enjoyable atmosphere. To appeal to this untethered mentality, meeting venues are increasingly including neutral spaces for people to just ‘hang out’, sit with a laptop, or have a brief informal meeting.
To see how adults under 35 are challenging the norms, just look to the growing popularity of coffee shops, the expanding freelance worker economy and the blurred lines between working and socialising.
Using social media to its full capacity is second-nature to these smartphone-wielding content kings.
Gen Z’ers are 25% more likely than Millennials to say they are addicted to their digital devices and 40% identify as digital device addicts. Social media is how they express themselves and live events are a chance to have a share-worthy experience and to enjoy seeing other people’s unique experiences on their feeds. Get in on this game by creating shareable moments at your events. Create hashtag competitions that incentivise attendees to share user-generated content from your event on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
“Adapt your strategy to the platforms that Millennials and Gen Z are using”
These generations seek uniqueness in all walks of life; through brands, through employers and through experiences. To engage them, your event should offer multiple opportunities to connect, both in person and digitally.
As an example, mobile event apps are a great contributor to the success of live experiences. They allow attendees to personalise their event experience and (more importantly) make connections with one another.
Your mobile event apps should be a mini social network — tailor-made for your conference. Remember to stay up to date with current apps, as some can be the star of the show one minute and gone the next (we all still dearly remember ‘Vine’). Adapt your strategy to the platforms that Millennials and Gen Z are using – Slack is very popular with them right now.
So that’s how you attract and engage Millennials – how do you earn their loyalty?
Both Millennials & Gen-Z are teamwork oriented and want to work in an environment where inclusion and social are priority.
These are generations that are passionate about social causes that benefit the greater good and are generous with their time, money and influence.
Commenting on what older generations can learn from Millennials, Multi-award-winning tech entrepreneur and the Millennial CEO and founder of Inkpact, Charlotte Pearce, comments:
“We have a social mission engrained in the way we see the world and we want to grow and develop more than ever. We think globally, and we believe that life is for living, having experiences trumps material things and we enjoy having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously!”
To appeal to the good intentions of millennials and Gen-Z, consider partnering with cause-related organisations, especially ones that are relevant to your event brand, theme or purpose. Partnering with good-causes brings an extra element of value and is another way to inspire attendance.
To summarise, Millennials and Gen-Z’ers enjoy being in relaxed environments that nurture creativity and innovative thinking, while they expect events and brands to behave responsibly, and deliver-up unique experiences, personalised to them.
Of course, you should never forget that all people are individuals with their own unique qualities but keeping a few of these more general characteristics in mind when organising your event could help you attract and involve these two dynamic generations.