Pop-ups, brightly coloured billboards, yelling salespeople;
All this is background noise to Millennials, and any attempt to grab their attention through these traditional means gets ignored like a bad smell or an annoying alarm.
Millennials love tech and are extreme brand-savvy. They’ve grown up in an era that features ad-blockers and Mobile devices. They have closely experienced the invisible line between virtual and reality. Thus the desire for authenticity has undoubtedly pushed marketers and companies to raise the bar for how we reach out to all —but especially to the millennial set.
In fact, 84% of millennials distrust traditional advertising, and fewer than 1% say that ads influence them, according to one study.* Source: LimeLight.com
If you want to reach this lucrative target market, then you need to try something different, something appealing.
This is where experiential marketing proves its worth. By creating a non-interruptive, engaging experience and conveying it to Millennials’ home turf, brands can interact with this generation on their terms while creating authentic, lasting connections.
Millennial characteristics are distinctive. Not every Millennial is the same. But understanding this stereotype is a useful tool for your event to be captivating. Here are a few ways to attract millennials to your next event.
Create an experience
Millennials are more interested in attending an event that creates an experience as opposed to one that’s just interested in selling a product or service. To be precise, Millennials get bored of seeing the same old thing again and again and again! If you want Millennials at your event, you need to provide new experiences that actively appeal to them.
Add Peer-to-Peer elements
Interaction is very important. Accordingly, provide opportunities for peer-to-peer networking. Be sure to include those opportunities in your event promotion too.
Fix on live polling that encourages activity and creates a strong group experience. One idea to create interactivity is to break one large session into several small-group meetings that allow attendees to interact in the workshop/conference.
Include Technology, but make it the Right Technology
Millennials have seeped in technology their whole life. They’re not going to be impressed by razzle-dazzle that’s all flash but no substance. Instead of just thoughtlessly throwing the latest VR headset out as your centerpiece, choose tech that will deliver an insightful experience for them.
Allow for a Last-Minute Sign-Up
Who doesn’t like a bargain? Offer a “late-bird” discount. A slight rate cut might be just what it takes to get a price-conscious Millennial to your event.
Hand Out Free Swag, if possible
Millennials are happy to share their experiences about brands on social media. Although branded swag isn’t required for millennials to talk about the event experience on social, it does help when it comes to images. Give millennials something memorable and they will definitely talk about it.
Be accessible on Social media
Make sure that your event can be discovered online and be easily viewable on mobile devices.
Dedicated Event Page:
Create an event page, separate from your organization’s page. This makes the event more easily searchable and discoverable online.
Make sure your event page is tailored for mobile-device viewing. This includes buttons, scroll able interface, and important information.
Include and share social media buttons for easy sharing of experiences.
Social networking has been an active part of a Millennial’s entire life. Embrace this fact and use it to your benefit. Your event website needs to be optimized for social media (also, there’s no need to limit yourself to just Facebook and Twitter, add Snap chat, Instagram. Encourage social activity throughout the event. Create a hashtag for the event and have those tweets displayed on projection screens throughout the meeting.
Make Events Memorable
If you wish to attract millennials to your events create a unique experience. Focus on experience design: Think creatively about your venue choice. Try to identify ways to intensify the space through art, design and participatory activities.
Gamify your event
If you gamify your event, your attendees get a chance to hang out with their group of friends and participate in the game within your event. Gamify it by adding raffles, issuing social media challenges, having group contests, and more. This will promote more participation as groups of friends would rather participate in an event than individuals.
Venue is important
Millennials are less likely to attend an event if there is nothing to do around the location. Consider a destination place where public transportation makes it easy to get around and there are a lot of attractive activities nearby.
Crowdsourcing allows gathering feedback in real-time. It helps in gaining fresh ideas from all sorts of attendees. Giving event attendees a voice establishes a trusted line of communication and fosters the relationship between attendee and event planner. Showing your attendees that you’re listening improves the conversation and bolsters current and future participation.
Millennials are not ambiguous or unreachable when you take time to develop an authentic campaign aimed at more connecting instead of selling and building brand awareness.