Stats, Facts & Research

What Everyone Should Know About Engaging Millennials At Events

Engaging Millennials At EventsMarketing to millennials may seem elusive. And it can be…if you’re not armed with the right information or privy to their way of thinking. To get insight on this 80-million-strong segment of the population, event marketing software firm Splash conducted some research to see what young consumers want and expect from events they attend. (Read the entire MediaPost article here.)

What did the survey uncover? There are seven key things every marketer should know to effectively engage millennials at events:

1. Create Memories

Millennials would rather spend their time and money on experiences, not things. “Brands who create unforgettable experiences at live events will win the hearts and minds (and Instagram feeds) of millennials,” writes Splash CEO and Co-Founder Ben Hindman. “Your event should leave an impression and encourage storytelling.”

2. Forget Inventing Something New

Hindman says the best brands are the facilitators of cool, not the creators. Smart brands (think Red Bull, Spotify, Philosophy) are partnering with influencers, artists or celebrities who already have organically cultivated their own followers and fans. Look at your unique marketplace and find the tastemakers. Align and collaborate with them to add legitimacy and authenticity to your products and services.

3. Incorporate Photo Ops

It’s no secret that selfies are how millennials communicate with their friends, document their lives and endorse people, places and products. Hindman believes that events should fully embrace opportunities for photo-taking and memory-making.

To get inspired, check out 4 Photo-Based Activities For Events or these Steal-Worthy Selfie Stations. And creating a custom geo-filer for your event on Snapchat is a must. Learn how here.

4. Understand Indecisiveness

Almost 30% of the Splash survey respondents reported that they only RVSP to an event the day of, so don’t count on an accurate headcount well in advance. To combat this flaky behavior, create an email campaign with several touch points and reminders. When targeting millennials, Hindman says you must be more patient and persistent than ever.

5. Reward Loyalty

Millennials consider attending a branded event an act of allegiance, according to Hindman, and as such it’s an excellent opportunity to build on this relationship. “Very few brands apply loyalty programs or behavioral targeting principles to the event marketing space,” he says, “which is a huge missed opportunity.”

So what does this mean to marketers? The Splash study found that 92% of respondents said they’d be open to a personalized email offer after an event and 64% said that while they don’t expect a brand to reward them for attending an event, they’re certainly open to it. (Perhaps some special post-event swag is in order here???)

“Think thank-you emails with coupons or discounts, or gifts or all-expense paid trips for the top all-time event goers,” says Hindman. “That’s some powerful one-to-one marketing.”

6. Expand The Event Ecosystem

Events don’t begin and end at the venue doors. Rather, think about how you can engage millennials at every touch-point in the event lifecycle: a well-designed event website, comprehensive email campaign, event swag (read What Millennials Really Want From Your Next Event to see which promotional products they really love) and post-event follow-up. Hindman recommends creating digital content that can live on past the event, such as playlists of DJ mixes or 360-degree GIFs that can be shared socially.

7. Hire Millennials

What better way to tap into the millennial mind that to make sure you have some on your marketing team. If you don’t have anyone 20-35 years old who is plugged into social media, music and entertainment trends, then hire some!


Want to better engage with millennials at your next event? We can help. Book an appointment by clicking here or call us now at 248-538-4700. Mention the blog, and we’ll send you some SMART Swag to get the conversation started!