Written by Mackenzie Priest-Heck
My generation is posed with the unique and exciting question, “How will we contribute to the world?” Having recently been on show site with Freeman, and able to observe how different generations interact with one another, I believe that Millennials and Gen Zs are fully capable of contributing to big, important conversations. Engineers, innovators, thinkers, and leaders interested in understanding the next generation of consumers, employees, and pioneers must first comprehend why its important to really engage with us, then create an environment for these conversations to take place. These tips, observed and curated by a Gen Z (me!), will help leaders create an atmosphere that will cultivate a unique opportunity for discussion and deeper audience engagement.
Sense of Unity: Particularly for the younger generations, people find comfort in being able to identify with a simple word or phrase, embodying a clear idea or community they can adopt. Make sure you have a clear, concise idea as an underpinning for everything you do related to your event or brand experience.
Screens, Visuals, and Live Demos: Young people are automatically attracted to what they can touch, visualize, or quickly understand through ascreen or digital experience that highlights key points or features attractive to the audience. By incorporating even basic technology, you can take advantage of the natural engagement tendencies of this audience.
Links, Not Flyers: Again, due to the rise of the digital world, Millennials and Gen Zs are more likely to research or find out more information about a company online versus a flier that gets folded up and lost. Skip the brochure and opt for a shortlink to a cool and informative web experience. Young people are also now highly aware of how much waste is disposed of on a daily basis, so you can score double points with this one move.
Instagrammable Moments: Technology and apps have allowed us to share information within our world of peers that allows for a unique web exchange of ideas. The best way to get publicity within the younger generations is to turn the attendee into an advocate, amongst people who are probably into mostly the same things as them. Make sure your experiences and content are Instagram-worthy to reach your audience's audience.
Time is money: Time is extremely important to the conscious Millennial or Gen Z who tries to absorb as much of the world as possible in a short period of time. This results in rigid scheduling, increasingly minimal but essential content, and an emphasis on staying organized. In other words, if they invest their time in your event, it better be worth it.
Eco-Friendly Waste: The younger generations are highly concerned with what they put back into the world, particularly the environment. It’s important that show organizers respect that and find a way to make their event eco-friendly and environment-conscious.
Healthy Snacks: Similar to protecting the environment, Millennials and Gen Zs have also joined the battle against obesity. Healthy snacks are not only more trendy but more nutritional noshing benefits the busy young professional, who is constantly on the go.
Offer Bleisure (Business + Leisure) Experiences: A sense of escape is always engaging for anyone whose main source of travel experience consists of an online account. Most young people have not begun to explore the world around them in an extensive way, so allowing them to get out of the convention center and explore a new city is definitely a way to appeal to them.
Limited-Edition Swag: Exposing younger audiences to new fun products is a good way to add some intrigue. It also gives them opportunities to provide some awesome feedback. Make it limited-edition with a cool logo or unique branding and it may become a sought-after brand artifact that gets collected year after year.
If marketers and leaders want to build a loyal relationship with the younger generations, they have to establish a basic understanding of what they like and how best to engage with them. Start incorporating these elements into events and brand experiences where you want to attract younger audiences and foster brand affinity.