The savviest marketers understand the crucial link between events and brand loyalty—particularly when it comes to millennials. If you're not creating experiences and memories, you're not doing it right. Water bottles and T-shirts top the swag, according to data from Splash, which sells experience marketing software. Other insights into millennials' minds include how they use social media at events and why they choose to attend brand-sponsored events. Check out this nifty infographic explaining what we mean.
What does this tell us? Millennials can't be without technology but they also love some good entertainment. Here are some things you can provide to ensure satisfaction among this generation of attendees.
- Don’t even think about making your attendee pay for Wi-Fi, and test the bandwidth of your coverage to ensure it can accommodate every attendee without delaying connections.
- Provide ample charging stations.
- Think about handing out battery chargers with your company’s logo at check-in.
- Go Green: Replace tangible registration collateral and swag bags with mobile event apps and electronic giveaways. Load your app or a USB device with promotional discount codes, partner collateral and event information, and market it as the green choice.
- Twitter: Don’t stop with a Twitter page for your organization. Remember to have a unique hashtag for each of your events. Friend every person who registers and start a personal connection by sending them a welcome message that includes your hashtag (I.E. So excited to have you joining us for #BizBash2014!)
- Facebook: Use the same formula as Twitter, and ensure that you are adding images to each post for enhanced engagement.
- LinkedIn: Build a community through groups and post updates daily.
- Engage Us for Additional Exposure: Millenials want to be involved and feel like they matter. If you give them the opportunity to be an active participant with social media they will be more likely to share content and increase your exposure. Ask them questions. Solicit photos. Get them excited!
Incorporate exciting new companies such as Crowdmics or Catchbox to enhance attendee experience. These innovators are changing the way we project our voices at events by transforming a cell phone into a microphone or allowing attendees to throw a cube-shaped microphone around the room like a hot potato. Use their products to create a competition. Millennials love a challenge. Have them participate and gain that authentic experience they are looking for. By incorporating gamification into your event, you will be delivering innovation, tech and trends in one smart swoop:
- Speakers: Millienials love to learn, and are hungry to gain knowledge from leaders in the industry. Work with your speakers to ensure they each include a small game at some point during their session. Help them facilitate the activity and remember to incorporate technology.
- Networking: Forget cocktail hour and bland receptions. By facilitating icebreakers during sessions, scheduling group activities or offering opportunities for recreational pursuits outside the conference you are innately providing creative networking opportunities.
- Make Millennials Move: Instead of a coffee break between sessions, take a page out of the Hyatt Meeting’s book and hire an exercise professional to do a 5 minute ‘Get Up and Move’ class. Active icebreakers facilitate interaction with other attendees, enhances cognitive functionality and provides a quick break from the monotony of the schedule.