As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world over, we’ve all had to adjust to the physical distancing guidelines by leaning on technology to fill the gaps. Although it’s certainly not the same as grabbing coffee with a colleague or showing a client around the warehouse, most of us have found our footing and may even appreciate the ease and efficiency that comes with digital solutions.
The silver lining is that virtual collaboration is becoming a greater priority as Generation Z increasingly fills up the event market. Consider this period as a way to get up-to-speed with the expectations and preferences of Gen Z, so you’re primed and ready to get the ball rolling when special events are back in the limelight.
Here’s a look at Gen Z’s expectations and how we can better serve them through the use of event technology.
Understanding Generation Z
Gen Z is made of individuals born between 1996 and 2010, which means the earlier part of the generation is reaching their mid-20s. This generation grew up with information at their disposal and a need for convenience. Think about it: Facebook opened up to the general public in 2006. One year later, the first iPhone was launched. This growth in social and mobile technology took place in rather formative years for Gen Z and transformed the expectations for communicating with others.
Today, Gen Z clients expect screen-friendly service that fits in with their preferred habits. They expect immediate responses from event pros and prefer speaking through text (or social media DMs) instead of phone calls and email.
Event technology in your business
By now, you’ve surely sat in your fair share of Zoom meetings. You may have even tried your own TikTok dance with varying levels of success (no judgment). Many of our new virtual habits will be here to stay, as we shift further into Gen Z’s territory and make adjustments to reach them on their level. They aren’t reading newspapers or magazines; many aren’t even consuming news from mainstream outlets. Social media reigns supreme, so you need to be prepared to connect and engage with potential clients through channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
It’s not just about marketing, though; technology must be an integral part of your client experience from the initial inquiry to the post-event wrap-up. Consider introducing new tools to your workflow to automate processes like proposals, contracts, and invoices—this will make life much easier for you and your clients, no matter how far you may be from one another.
Consistency is key and, in a process that involves heavy collaboration, we need to hold ourselves and our creative partners accountable in our approach with clients. What passed with prior clients won’t fly with Gen Z; 24-hour response times should look more like two hours and they want the answers to their questions ASAP. If we don’t meet expectations, Gen Z clients know they can find another vendor that will with a few taps on their smartphone—and they won’t hesitate to do so.
As we navigate a global health crisis that forces us to embrace digital solutions, let’s recognize that the changes we’ve made in recent months will help us in the long run. While they may have been forced adjustments out of necessity, the shift towards virtual collaboration is a trend that is here to stay for generations to come.