Guide to Having Millennials at Your Event

Posted by Abby Wolfe on 08/15/2017

80 million millennials want to attend your event

 

At one third of the population, the power behind the 80 million millennials is undeniable. One place to truly capture these hyper-engaged and intensely-interested young adults born in the early 80’s to early 90’s is at events.

Millennials do not just require just ANY event to attend, engage, purchase, or donate. There is a secret to capturing their attention and their gaining trust.

 

The formula is simple, not complicated. With more than 60,000 events under our belt, this generation of adults truly excites our audio visual hearts! So our event team has two formulas for your next event to help turn millennial words into action for your cause, your business, and your bottom line.

These three principles can go a long way to keep millennials coming back to your next event:

1. Experience

It all boils down to one word-- experience. In fact, 75% of millennials say they value experiences much more than other aspects at events like giveaway, prizes, and even free food. So what does that mean? It means that your next event cannot force feed messages and can certainly not surround your typical “introduce yourself to the table, stand up, eat, sit down, clap, leave” format.

Your event has offer something unique. Surprise and delight play a large role in millennials’ enjoyment and engagement of your event, especially online. More on that in a minute.

The more action-oriented and shocking, the better the experience is for a generation who has “seen it all” at the touch of phone screen.

An example: Our friends at Oklahoma City Museum of Art host an egg-themed event each year called the Omelette Party. This event is stuffed full of Oklahoma City’s best in catering and restaurants who attempt to capture each attendee’s vote for best dish. The only rule is the dish must contain egg as a primary ingredient. The result? Attendees get to taste TONS of great food, share in their experience, and then crown a winner. The experience has left attendees clamoring to get a ticket, try all the restaurants in attendance, and engage with one another about their favorites and the mission of the museum. Not to mention the Cory’s Audio Visual team helps the event with their audio visual needs each year, including a spinning chicken as an event centerpiece. Can you say, “Insta-worthy”?

2. Conversation

If it wasn’t shared on Facebook, did it really happen? That may sounds silly, but the fact is 48% of millennials say they attend specific events just so they can share it on social media.

And while looking out into the audience and seeing all those folks on their phones can be a real downer for our previous generations, it can actually be a seal of approval coming from millennials. This generation most-familiar and comfortable with technology needs you to join them in the conversation, make it easy, and give them an opportunity to shine online.

With new technology and platforms coming out every day, it is easy to get left behind. Recently, event trends have included:

  • Hashtag scrolls- Large displays of Instagram posts using your hashtag (filtered, of course.)

  • Instagram photo opportunities- Is there a spot that is selfie-worthy? Do you have a centerpiece? What is the one photographical element they will snap?

  • Facebook Live- It isn’t enough anymore to grab a cell phone and go live on Facebook. Take it up another level with a multi-camera broadcast complete with great sound, different angles, and graphics. Goodbye grainy cell phone video!

  • Mobile apps- If a mobile app provides a benefit, you better believe millennials will hit the download button. Come up with an app-exclusive benefit and they will be stuck to their screen reading or listening to the message you want to deliver.

An example: Our friends at Oklahoma’s Infant Crisis Services love to strap on their cowboy boots and have a party at Boots and Ballgowns! As one of the most-beloved Oklahoma City events, the party gets bigger and bigger every year with live music, a fun theme, and dancing. As their audio visual provider, Cory’s Audio Visual provided a stage backdrop featuring a social media scroll featuring posts made with their event hashtag “Boots4Babies2017.” Our team of audio visual professionals teamed up with their event planners to approve appropriate posts to be shown on the big screen in real time, straight from our phones. The result? Hundreds of posts that gained much exposure of the event, their mission, and the fun.

Conversation goes beyond the screen. Yes, millennials value face-to-face conversations as well, just a different kind. Think of interactive games and stations during breaks at your next meeting or conference. Give them ways to begin conversations with complete strangers, but don’t force it. A great example of this would be touch-screen team trivia, written boards, hands-on art, etc. Meetings.Net has some really interesting ideas of how to do this, found here.

  1. Benefit

Fact: 74% of millennials say events give them more perspective beyond what they read online and 75% say events help them make more of an impact. What does this mean for event planners? It means your event cannot just scratch the surface to make an impact, to educate, and to bring your ideas and messages to life. If the information you are providing can be easily Googled, the benefit doesn’t pay off for millennials’ time, which they often value more than money.

Looking at your event from the attendee’s ROI can go a long way in your planning process.

As a team who helps bring messages, interactions, or fun to life, we love seeing all generations involved, engaged, and loving events. If you need help with bringing these three principles to life, we can help!