4 Must-Haves to Attract Millennial Event Attendees
With the number of millennials projected to reach 73 million this year – overtaking baby boomers as the largest adult population in the United States – this is a highly coveted target for every marketer today.
And, with an annual buying spend expected to reach $1.4 trillion each year by 2020, nearly every event and meeting planner is making Gen Y a priority – or at least trying to understand what sparks FOMO for this group.
When it comes to events, 75 percent of millennials say they value immersive, memory-making experiences over material goods and products.
So what do event and meeting professionals need to do to cater to millennials? Here are four must-haves to attract millennial event attendees.
1. Create a Very Visual Event
Snapchat and Instagram are the social media platforms of choice for millennials to share event experiences with their peers. Knowing this, it’s critical to make an event’s visual aesthetic a top priority RN (right now).
The visual appeal starts well before the event starts. Splash, an event marketing software platform based in New York, recently conducted a study focused on what millennials want from brand events by surveying 785 millennials from around the world.
In the study, forty percent of millennials said if the invite or event page is ugly, they wouldn’t even go the event.
The lesson for event pros? Start the event off on the right foot from the very get-go with an eye-appealing aesthetic. Don’t limit the look to just the event website, emails or social posts. Carry the visualization throughout the entire event, including the overall floorplan, room set, décor, seating arrangements and more.
2. Ask Influencers to Spread the Word
If you want to influence millennials to attend your event, you need third-party endorsements. Millennials trust friends, family, and even strangers more than they do companies.
According to Neil Patel, New York Times, bestselling author and a top 10 marketer by Forbes, 89 percent of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand.
If you want attendees to come to your event, they’re going to need to hear great things about it from friends and family.
A few ideas to try to help these influencers spread the word:
- In your marketing, share quotes and videos of past attendees talking about the great time they had at your event.
- Throughout the event, post FOMO-inducing social posts that capture all the fun everyone is having – and what they’re missing out on.
- Offer incentives, like special VIP access or other surprises, for those who advocate on behalf of your event.
3. Appeal to their Desire to Connect
While millennials may be known for their tech-savvy and dependence on devices, connecting face-to-face with others still reigns supreme. The Splash study found the main reason 56 percent of millennials attend events is the opportunity to network or a chance to meet new people.
Cater to millennials’ desire to connect by offering multiple networking opportunities, meets and greets and more. Just don’t overschedule every moment, so millennial event attendees also have downtime or opportunities to take in the local scene.
Making authentic connections are the kinds of memories attendees will remember long after the event is overdriving repeat attendance at future events and making it more likely they’ll spread the word to others too.
4. Provide Something to Share
Appeal to millennials’ desire to look good in front of their peers. The Splash survey found 24 percent of millennials attend events just for social media bragging rights.
It’s critical to make it easy for millennials to create, share and capture memories they’ve made at your event. Splash’s survey found 75 percent of millennials expect a brand to notify them within two days about where and when event photos are posted.
And don’t forget about dishing out good swag too. Splash found 47 percent of millennials go to an event because of the swag, with 19 percent saying the coolest thing a brand has ever done is handing out free stuff.