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Getting Ready For The Millennials: Event Marketing For #GenY

The Millennials have come of age. Over the next few years those aged between 18 and 34, are projected to become the largest generation in the workforce, and therefore control a sizeable portion of consumer spend.

So what does this mean to the event marketer, and what’s the significance?

As Millennials (also known as Generation Y) take up an even more prominent position in the workforce they will be the individuals you will need to market your events to. I’m talking about corporate and industry events, as this age group become the decision makers and business leaders of the future.

The significance of this is that Generation Y have grown up in a digital age, where innovation in technology has become the norm, and the use of digital technologies is fully integrated into their lives.

As you can probably tell I’m from Generation X; a generation who has embraced technology but still remembers the days before mobile phones, the Internet, and even the word ‘digital’ was only used when talking about digits and data. While plenty of my generation use digital technologies in all aspects of our lives, Millennials step this up a notch, and notably with higher levels of expectation.

The Millennials And Mobile Evolution

One digital trend that we see across all generations is the increased use of mobile phones. However, The Millennials are the mobile generation. In fact 98.6% of UK Millennials own a mobile, and out of these 87.7% have a smartphone*. Of course, mobile phone usage is not just confined to making phone calls; this probably features quite low on the list. Millennials are also the generation who use mobiles to access the Internet the most – 87.7% of Millennial mobile users compare with 67.7% of the rest of mobile users.

Therefore at the heart of any event marketing strategy focussed on this generation, has to be the mobile phone. From mobile responsive websites (doesn’t everyone have one yet?) to event apps, user experience for this generation must be delivered through mobile devices, and that means the smartphone.

Video And Generation Y

According to the IDG Global Mobile Survey, 89% of Millennials watch videos on their mobile phone. They also consume more video content than any other generation. This includes films, music videos, TV shows, and video clips. Again this is a trend we see reflected across the rest of the population, but Millennials are that much further ahead.

This presents great opportunities for marketing your events, from event promo videos, behind-the-scenes insights, interviews, live streaming and so on. Video also needs to be mobile responsive to engage with Millennials, which means viewable in a vertical orientation.

Social Media And Messaging Apps

It goes without saying that social media is a dominant force in marketing to this demographic. 87% use their mobile to access their social media platforms. Not only is it an effective way to reach Millennials and promote your event, whether through organic content or advertising, but also for engagement throughout your event cycle.

For more on using social media for event marketing click here.

However, don’t ignore messaging apps either. Whatsapp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger all have great potential for promoting and sharing your events. Messaging apps can be used to facilitate conversations between your attendees, raise brand awareness, incentivise your audience by offering ‘exclusives’ such as previews and offers, and to engage audiences throughout the event with real time CTAs.

Wearable Tech

Whilst in its infancy, wearable technology and the Internet of Things are set to become extensions of the smartphone. Geofencing and push notifications are just two technologies that will come into their own with wearables, as attendees will no longer need to fish a phone out of their back pocket to access an app or message. As devoted smartphone users Millennials are likely to be the main group that embrace this technology, with ease of use being a prime motivator for adoption.

As you can see the one key denominator for all these event technologies is the mobile phone. Therefore for any event organiser or marketer looking to engage with Millennials this has to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

* source: Emarketer

Caroline Edmonds

Author Caroline Edmonds

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