Millennials—or young adults born between 1982 and 2004—are educated and more tech-savvy than prior generations. They also have distinct tastes and appreciate an event’s décor, ambiance, and overall experience. Planning and creating engaging and experiential events for millennials requires a combination of elements.
Here are five considerations to tailor your event to wow this demographic and create an exciting event experience.
Millennials grew up with Internet and social media, so they expect a tech component to their events. Incorporating technology into the event can range from simple to truly high-tech. Offering WiFi is a good way to start. If you’re organizing a conference or corporate event, electronic check-ins via iPads or other mobile devices will surely be appreciated.
Utilizing social media is the newest way to engage and connect with your guests. Create a hashtag for the event and encourage attendees to share photos or tweets. This creates a more interactive experience and gives millennials something to share on social media with their friends.
Create a unique experience
Millennials want to attend events that are outside the norm. Moving beyond a traditional formal event is sure to captivate this age group.
Creating something different from the rest may include holding the event in an unconventional venue, such as an art gallery or aquarium. However, the overall theme and details of the event are crucial as well. Be sure to have a clear event message. Engineering every aspect of your event with guest experience in mind is key to creating a unique experience.
Design events with a cause
Many young adults are passionate about causes, whether it’s sustainable initiatives, supporting education, or funding the local community. Incorporating a charitable cause into your event is a great way to increase millennial engagement.
When choosing a cause, be sure that it resonates with millennials. It’s also important to inform attendees about the cause and exactly where donations or contributions will be going. (Remember—millennials are Internet savvy and want to know exactly what their money is supporting.) If it’s a ticketed event, you can give attendees the option to make a small donation online when they purchase their tickets. It’s a very small extra step that many people will be happy to take.
Promote local & sustainable
Millennials are known for being passionate about food, so use this as an opportunity to appeal to their passion. Many young adults are concerned with sustainability, which makes locally sourced ingredients a huge hit for millennial-centered events. Emphasizing local ingredients is a great way to focus on sustainability. Other food and drink trends such as microbrewing allow you to partner with local providers that tend to be popular with younger demographics.
Not only are locally produced food and beverages appealing to young adults, but they also ensure your event is unique to your city or region.
Creating the perfect event for millennials
Millennials want fully immersive experiences. This requires event planners to bring together food, décor, and entertainment at a one-of-a-kind venue. Add to that something millennials really care about, such as technology and social media, and you’re sure to have an event that will keep growing year after year!
Next time you’re planning an event for this demographic, keep these considerations in mind and you’ll be creating a memorable event that all young adults will be talking about.
Bonnie Dannen is the President and co-founder of BBJ Linen, a premier linen rental company offering fashion-forward table linen and accessories for the event industry.