Next Generation Meetings should be on every organizations’ mind as the demographic at events are shifting. I recently read the Goldman Sachs article data story “Millennials” and it made me think about the way this generation… my generation… and younger, will shift the live event industry moving forward.
Fact: Millennials are now the majority. Yes, we are the largest generation in US history and we’re here to stay as our generation is now reaching maturity and peak working years. Millennials at each end of the spectrum are ranging in ages 18-38. This group makes up today’s up-and-comers in every industry.
A key constant of growing up a millennial has been change. So millennials will demand that your events change year over year – adding value to their lives. When planning events, including pre-event communication, information distribution, the on-site experience and post-event experience, consider these criteria.
We are digital native. It’s the language younger generations speak. If you’re not communicating to attendees in this way, you’re speaking the incorrect language. In an effort to maximize face-to-face (F2F) experiences, younger generations want pre-event digital forums and ways to connect with event attendees. They want to know who is attending the event and easy ways to communicate within an event app, site or through social media integration within your event sessions. Also, incorporate ways to keep the conversation going after the event.
Price-to-value feelings have evolved. Younger generations have less disposable income and more debt than prior generations. This group spends “smart” by commoditizing certain products such as music and media streaming, cars or lodging (Sharing Economy). Conversely, they are defying economic theory by paying astronomical prices for technologies such as the iPhone X and experiences like networking or learning conferences. Tim Ferriss, best-selling author with a cult-like millennial following, comments on choosing conferences to attend: “My policy has generally been go to at least one event per year which is the most expensive event you can afford to go to. You’re going to end up with a [better,] smaller crowd.” If you create a valuable experience, you can charge more for your event. To get millennials to believe your message on value, they need to hear from like-minded individuals about your conference.
Experience Driven. Younger generations today spend time and money on experiences that are lasting, rather than on possessions. If your events aren’t 100% focused on creating lasting experiences, enriching content or driving sponsor experience/ROI, then the event is wasting money. Engage with IMS Technology Services to learn of FUN ways to do this through the use of technology.
Wellness. According to Aetna’s 2013 “What’s Your Healthy Survey” there has been a shift in the definition of healthy being “not sick” to today’s view of healthy being defined as a daily commitment to mental wellbeing, balanced diet and exercising. See this article on 7 Ideas to Inspire Wellness at Your Event.
Want to learn more about how to attract Millennials and GenZ? Check out 5 Ways to Attract Millennials & GenZ to Your Event
Article written by Julie Renninger, Director of Sales at IMS.