Appealing to Millennials
Thursday, July 27, 2017
by: ILEA HQ
New research from event technology platform Eventbrite shows that nearly four out of five Americans attended a live event in the past year, whether it was a music concert, a political rally, a trade show or even a wine festival. Driving this trend are Millennials.
Those born roughly between 1980 and 2000 are often dubbed the "experiences generation." They look to live events to form human connections and as a form of personal expression. According to Eventbrite, 89 percent of Millennials have attended at least one live event within the last year, up from 82 percent in 2014.
Multi-day festivals, in particular, have become a rite of passage for this demographic. Among the most popular is Lollapalooza, whose attendance mushroomed from around 65,000 in 2005 to 300,000 in 2014. Coachella, meanwhile, sold more than 198,000 tickets in 2015, but has also pushed live streaming (currently at 28 million views) as a way for Millennials and others to "attend" even if they can't be there physically.
It's not just festivals that are being positioned as event experiences for young adults. So, too, are single-evening concerts, franchise movie openings and even pay TV season premieres a la Netflix and HBO. According to a recent Deloitte report, approximately 83 million Millennials will spend $750 a year to buy experiences.
So, how do event planners appeal to Millennials to get the most bang for everyone's collective buck? The simple art of paying is one consideration. Festivals have begun to experiment with new access and payment tokens, most notably Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wristbands that double as entry tickets and payment devices within the events' areas. Research has shown that fans spend as much as 20 percent more onsite when using these wristbands instead of cash. Event attendees don't have to worry about theft either, as RFID tags are unique and practically impossible to duplicate. When a wristband is deactivated by customer service, its cashless feature is also deactivated.
Millennials are also a thrifty generation, always interested in a good bargain. The most recently available TodayTix data shows that young adult users saved a combined $8.5 million in 2015 via coupons, flash sales and other discounts. Meanwhile, Ipsos' "The Road to Rewards: What Drives Millennial Loyalty?" study indicates that Millennials favor discounts over brand loyalty. This means price inevitably plays a major role in whether this demographic will attend your convention, premiere, or other live event.
At the same time, event planners won't find a more connected social group than Millennials. According to a recent study by author Dan Schawbel, 73 percent want to be a part of live polls during events. If you're planning a trade show, for instance, engage Millennial attendees with live polling to create a stronger group experience that leaves everyone feeling involved.
Then, there's the matter of "social collateral." According to Eventbrite, nearly 75 percent of Millennials say they attend events to express who they are. Digging down further into the data, 48 percent say they attend live events so they have something exciting to share via social media. As a result, planners would be wise to make their events Instagram-worthy by creating on-site photo opportunities that young people will want to share. Another rule of thumb will be to display your event hashtag prominently throughout the event venue and encourage attendees to use it when they post. Finally, urge them to stream live on such apps as Facebook Live for the opportunity to win a prize. The more this generation shares, the more they promote the event to their contemporaries.