Millennials are changing almost everything in the traditional workspace — and these changes also affect the world of events. Events give millennials the opportunity to be part of a community, live in the moment, and make valuable memories. Millennials look for purpose in everything they do, so if you want them to attend your event, it has to serve a purpose. Here are four ways you can attract millennials to your next (purpose-driven) event.
1. Do Your Research
One key to gaining millennial attendance is researching them first. Don’t treat all millennials as a monolithic group: segment them, like you would any audience, to get to know them better. Once you’ve done this research, tailor your event to speak to their values and motivations of the specific millennials attending. Many millennials will go to great lengths for your brand if you can establish a connection with them.
2. Offer an Experience
Millennials are looking for experiences, not just traditional events. Brands who want to attract millennials need to consider whether or not their event strategy creates a truly authentic experiences — or if it’s just about selling a product or service. This experiential focus isn’t limited to attending the event: it starts at the pre-registration stage and continues to the post-event stage. If you event was a success, millennials will still be talking about the event online and offline.
3. Marketing for Millennials
Traditional media and overused marketing jargon won’t work for a millennial audience. Pay attention to all the touch-points that millennials have with your brand before your event. Design is critical: for example, if your online registration experience isn’t attractive and user-friendly, it’s going to be hard to get millennials to sign up. Create a microsite for your event and use multiple event marketing platforms, such as Eventbrite and Universe, to make it easy for millennials to find you. And, of course, promoting your event on popular social media channels (like Facebook and Twitter) is essential — but don’t limit yourself to these! Experiment with other channels that have strong online communities, such as Reddit or Tumblr, if those are the sites your millennial audience frequents.
4. Tap Into Technology
Millennials are always on and connected, which means your event website and registration pages need to be optimized for mobile. And your event has to be promoted and executed in a way that will make millennials want to talk about it with their friends and colleagues. Having a photo booth at your event, serving food and drinks from a popular local restaurant, or giving away free SWAG (“stuff we all get”) are great ways to encourage millennials to post about your event on social media. If you want to go a step further, build an app that allows millennials (and all attendees) to check the event schedule, find out about speakers, connect with others at the event, and ask questions directly from their smartphone. Brands that leverage technology in every aspect of their event will succeed in attracting and engaging millennials.