Evolving for millenials

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
The millennials are the most educated, diverse and connected generation of our time, accounting for 80 million in the USA alone. By gradually becoming the most populous part of an audience, they will radically shape what events look like. With more millennials in the audience, event organisers need to learn what this generation want and expect in order to deliver successful conferences. Dan Schwabel, author of New York Times Bestseller: Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success, recently released an excellent study entitled How Millennials See Meetings Differently. The results have strong implications for event planners that are searching for ways to engage their millennial audiences.1. Design genuine experience Millennials crave for genuine experiences at events. In fact, according to Eventbrite’s research, 78 per cent of millenials would rather spend money on an experience or an event than buying something tangible. Meeting planners should become experience engineers that deliver a strong emotional message to their participants. The best example is the super-successful Belgian music festival Tomorrowland, which offers a powerful experience to all of their 200,000 festival-goers with compelling storytelling and supreme emotional engineering. 2. Leverage live polling According to Schwabel, 73 per cent of millennials are interested in participating in live polls during event sessions. They want to be an active part of the presentations – they crave to express their opinion and interact with speakers as they can do in the online environment. They don’t want to be mere observers. By engaging millennial delegates with live polling during the presentations, presenters create a strong group experience that leaves the audience feeling like they all have been part of the event story.3. Turn presentations into conversations Instead of passively listening to a speaker for an hour, millennials would rather use the majority of the presentation time for Q&A. This is the generation that wants to engage in the conversation. Schwabel notes that “it’s time to change the traditional speaker and panel formats to incorporate technology and audience participation.” Talk to your speakers and encourage them to leave enough room for the Q&A in the allocated time slot. If you plan to use Q&A tools, submit questions in advance to avoid silence and kick-off the conversation.  4. Create networking opportunities Schwabel states that 86 per cent of the millennials expect career networking and job opportunities from events. This makes sense knowing that millennials are generally underemployed and under-experienced. By organising networking sessions that connect millennials with companies, you bring a greater value, which reflects on the overall success of your event.5. Integrate social media  Millennials view experiences at live events as a valuable content to be shared with their online friends. Event professionals should seize this trend and aim at creating tweetable moments that millennials might spread to their extended online communities. Create the event hashtag and promote it so the millennials can live-tweet and spread the word about your event to the non-onsite attendees. Set up the tweet walls onsite and incentify participation by offering small rewards.   This article was first published in the April issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Elsewhere on EN

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

CONFEX LIVE

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.
2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

Sarah Mayo, marketing director EMEA, Freeman and FreemanXP talks about her new role, playing golf with Westlife and the skills needed in our industry.

Latest News

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

Latest Galleries

100% Optical 2017

100% Optical 2017

More than 8,000 visitors arrived at ExCeL London on 4-6 February for the fourth edition of 100% Optical. The show featured more than 175,000 frames, catwalk performances and a comprehensive education programme.
Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

The inaugural Cumbria Flood Expo, organised by flood emergency response charity CERT UK, took place on 2-3 February at Carlisle Racecourse.
Mexia Communications at 10

Mexia Communications at 10

PR and content marketing agency Mexia Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Mexican Fiesta at the Royal College of Physicians on 26 January.

Latest Opinions

Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.
Beware of the punter

Beware of the punter

Trevor Punt, managing director of TBG Group, on the rise of the stereotypical punter and the need for nerves of steel.
Peer to peer

Peer to peer

Will Broadfoot, director of Footfall Events & Marketing on unlocking exhibitor potential and improving participation.