The millennial mindset brings with it a great deal of change to the future of events. Driven by authenticity and connection, as well as having the luxury of technology at their fingertips, how do you begin to engage, captivate and inspire such a demographic? To quote the film, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”. In fact, an Eventbrite survey found that 78% of millennials prefer to spend their disposable money on events and experiences rather than things.
Millennials view experiences and live events as a way to better connect with themselves, with one another and with the world, and if that’s not setting the bar high enough, they’ve also got a limited attention span. When it comes to events for the Millennial generation it’s important to keep it short, fully immersive, and highly personalized.
Keep it short –
While your presenters undoubtedly have a wealth of information to share, this is the time to leave the audience wanting more. To begin with, select relevant and engaging speakers that your attendees will want to connect with even when the event has concluded. And in this age of Vine videos and Twitter, it’s imperative to keep these presentations short and to the point.
You might consider bursts of information by speakers followed by breakout sessions and panel discussions, and further broken up by videos. Custom seating styles can also help in this area, offering settings that encourage networking and discussion regarding the event itself. Take your event one step farther with a host/moderator and even a DJ.
Immerse the Crowd
Fortunately, a lot of new technologies were developed during a Millennial’s lifetime and so they are not burnt out on all of these apps, widgets, etc. In fact, most Millennials are still eager to utilize these technologies, so have them available.
Undoubtedly you should have charging stations and a mobile application for your event but think outside of the box. Look at creating a “Tech Hive”, which is an interactive area with things like touchscreens, a “Gifn” booth, VR gaming stations, social media walls, etc.
Swanky, customized seating styles can also help in this area - sort of a “Google office approach”.
From the collateral and content to the presentations, every aspect should be seamless, stylized and branded. This event is alive and should follow your guests before, during and long after it has concluded, so the continuity of your content is very important.
Finally, get even more personal with your crowd by allowing attendees the opportunity to get connected with one another, with speakers and with a cause. Focus on sustainability throughout the experience, maybe use an organic caterer, bring in a charity, or contribute to cause. Not only do Millennials have short attention spans and a desire to embrace technology, but they also want to genuinely care about what they do with their time whether they be working or playing, they are looking to create meaning and impact.