How to Attract and Engage Millennial Attendees for Your Event
Attracting different types of attendees can play a large role in the continued success of your events. We all have target markets that we cater towards for our events and as the years pass by, the Millennial generation will begin to impact this market even more.
Our events and our attendance rates, fundraising and marketing campaigns will all be influenced by the up and coming generations. So who is the Millennial generation and how can you begin attracting them to your events and engaging them while they are in attendance?
What is a Millennial?
The Millennial generation, often referred to as Generation Y is comprised of people born from approximately 1980 to the early 2000’s. They are a highly educated generation with about 61% of adult Millennial’s attending college (compared to 46% of baby boomers) and they have had access to the Internet and advanced technology for the majority of their lifetime. The oldest sector of the Millennial generation is just now reaching their 30’s and the generation is sure to shape our events, our industry and our economy for years to come.
Become Mobile Friendly
Taking a look at your events and your website is a great place to start attracting Millennials. Ensuring that your site is optimised for mobile use is an important step towards increasing your engagement online. Many people are researching, registering and discussing events through a mobile device. This will only continue to increase over time, so get ahead of the game and review your online presence.
You can increase this mobile friendly element by adding QR codes to your marketing materials. These codes allow potential guests to scan directly to your registration forms or website. Just another way for potential attendees to be informed about your event on the go!
Add Peer-to-Peer Elements
Millennials enjoy interacting in a group. They are much more likely to attend an event if they can do so with friends. Events such as endurance races, concerts and festivals are all more enjoyable for Millennials when their friends are in attendance.
Add a mobile sharing button to your registration website or reduce ticket prices for groups. Small steps like these will engage your younger participants and increase your overall impact.
Social Media Marketing
In this day and age, almost everyone is interacting on some form of social media for their special events. Start out by having a strong social presence and keep it updated on a regular basis. This is a great way to build your brand online. Finding new and exciting ways to integrate social media into your event promotion is a fabulous tool for engaging Millennials.
Try offering discounts to your social media followers. Posting photos and adding videos are other great options to increase excitement and anticipation for your event. Making your content highly shareable and interactive is an excellent way to target potential attendees in the Millennial segment.
Social Media Onsite
Continue with your social media presence by promoting social sharing onsite at the event. By promoting an event specific hashtag and your company or event twitter handle, your attendees will be able to post messages and interact with your online brand.
Following the event, post thank you messages, results or future promotions on your social media outlets. These are just a few ideas to begin using social media to interact with this generation. Think outside of the box and get creative!
The Millennial Generation has a strong sense of concern for social good and social impact. Many events are going green, contributing to charitable causes or providing an opportunity to be a part of something special.
Taking steps to transition your events into more environmentally conscious, socially aware outings will show the next generation that your organization is dedicated to their future. These qualities will make your events more attractive to young participants.
Perhaps a portion of your proceeds go towards a local charity? Be sure to promote this element in your marketing to ensure your potential guests are aware of your commitment to the community. This element will make your event more attractive to all types of attendees, especially those in the Millennial sector.
Hire a Millennial
Adding someone to your staff who is from this generation is an excellent way to increase your knowledge and perspective on this age group. Having an inside source provides you with a chance to ask their opinion on certain event elements and perhaps gain some new ideas from a younger co-worker.
Many Millennials get a bad rap for being a generation of entitlement, but in my experience they also represent a hard working generation who are committed to and involved with their community. Eventually Millennials will represent the majority of the workforce, so get ahead of the game and give a young planner or professional a chance to make a positive impact on your company or event.
The Millennial generation will continue to increase their impact in many different industries, especially the event sector. This generation is dedicated to community and connection, and will make for valuable attendees, employees and volunteers. Learning more about this group will help us all to be better marketers and event managers.
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