Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Decoding Generation Z, The Consumer on the Rise

Every generation ushers in new expectations as market trends drive hospitality professionals to change how they do business. When Millennials showed up to the party in the mid-2000s, they pushed the wedding and events industry to embrace technology and provide a high-touch client experience. Events became more personalized, leaving behind the conventional styles of Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers.

So as we welcome Gen Z to the market, what will change? How does their hyper-connected lifestyle influence the events industry? While it might seem like Gen Z is merely a younger extension of fellow tech-savvy Millennials, many factors set them apart as consumers.

Here’s a look at what Gen Z values most when planning a major life milestone.

Speedy communication

In the age of same-day delivery, you can bet that Gen Z expects a quick reply to their emails, texts, and phone calls. In fact, 82 percent of modern consumers expect to hear back within ten minutes. Fortunately, providing a taste of instant gratification doesn’t mean you need to wait by your inbox to deliver a near-instant response!

Many customer relationship management (CRM) platforms allow you to build customizable workflows with auto-responders triggered by defined actions. For example, if a prospective client submits an inquiry on a busy weekend, you can set it up so they receive an automated response filled with FAQs and sales materials. That way, they’ll get the immediate reply they expect and you can revisit once you’re back in the office.

Hands-on collaboration

Gen Z’s love for technology speaks to their appreciation for independence and self-reliance, but don’t let those values fool you. They also deeply value collaboration, especially when it comes to planning major life milestones. Thus, it’s vital to empower younger clients by inviting them to actively participate in the process through the use of virtual tools and communication platforms.

For example, event designers can take advantage of 3D mapping technology to provide clients with an immersive planning experience that allows for hands-on involvement in the look and feel of their celebration. Likewise, photographers can share ready-to-use templates like shot lists for clients to express their preferences clearly. Such collaborative resources ensure Gen Z clients feel understood, earning their trust in the final result.

Of course, communication also plays an essential role in collaborative efforts. Prioritize transparency by keeping your clients informed of significant updates in a timely manner. A client portal or dashboard on a CRM or planning software can provide real-time updates without requiring constant back-and-forth via email or text messages.

In the eyes of Gen Z consumers, a successful collaboration involves defined processes and tools that offer structure and clarity. By leveraging modern technology, you can cater to their unique needs while maintaining efficiency and consistency within your business. 

Unconventional ideas

Creativity and innovation are key when working with Gen Z, a generation that places a high value on individuality and uniqueness. Thanks in part to the rise in social media, weddings and other life events have become a way to curate a fully personalized experience—and our younger clients expect such originality to shine through every step of the planning process.

To meet Gen Z’s expectations, event pros must leave behind the status quo and offer out-of-the-box ideas that clients haven’t seen before. They no longer want the perfect Pinterest wedding; instead, they want an authentic wedding experience that stands out from their friends’ celebrations. So while wedding-related media can serve as inspiration, it’s time to look past industry trends and focus on sourcing inspiration tailored to reflect each client’s individuality. 

Don’t hesitate to push boundaries and experiment with fresh concepts—indeed, that’s how you can craft an extraordinary experience that captures your client’s personality and impresses their guests.

So as we welcome Gen Z to the market, pay attention to what they value most: instant gratification, collaborative technology, and individuality. By understanding and catering to these expectations, you can win over the next generation with ease and produce truly meaningful experiences for your clients. 


Randi Bushell

Founder & CEO, Merri

Randi Bushell is the Founder & CEO of Merri, a 3D visualization platform for the events industry – bringing venues, planners, and vendors onto a single platform to design and execute best-in-class events. Prior to starting Merri, she spent her early career in Ecommerce at,, and While planning her wedding in 2018, she struggled to make design decisions without adequate tooling to visualize the event, which acted as the catalyst for starting Merri, and has now grown to be one of the fastest-growing platforms in the industry.