What Type of Event Do Millennials Want?

Millennials are the most studied group around, from their preferred style of learning, to their ideal workspace.

In this post, we take the research on people born from 1982 to 2004 and use it to set out the types of events that appeal most to Millennials.

Collaborative working.

Millennials thrive in collaborative environments. It’s one of their top priorities when searching for a job. So, it stands to reason that an event that encourages delegates to work together to generate great ideas will be attract to Millennials.  

Try: break out sessions that allow delegates to meet and work with many of the attendees; multi-disciplinary conferences; short presentations followed by group activities.

A media-rich environment.

It should go without saying that reliable, fast wifi is a must at any event aimed at Millennials. This demographic checks their smartphones 43 times a day. A location that does not allow them to stay connected simply does not meet their needs.

Once you’ve ensure the wifi meets expectations, then you can really start to have fun. Augmented reality and virtual reality are two technologies that are hugely exciting, with great potential to make a real difference across a diverse range of industries. Why not invite speakers who can bring delegates up to speed on the latest research in this area and how it will impact them?

Try: letting your delegates try out the latest tech, with a view to experiencing how it can make a positive impact on their industry; encouraging attendees to keep their smartphones switched on.  

Boost engagement with gamification.

Millennials don’t want to sit quietly and listen. They want to experience and find out for themselves. Gamification is the solution for event profs who want to put together an event that caters for this group’s desire for choice and customisation. They will happily puzzle over an activity that has a clearly defined goal. What’s more, they will enjoy analysing their performance throughout the process.

Try: working together with an organisation with experience in gamification to develop a conference app; create goals and offer rewards for completing certain tasks; break a complex task into smaller, easy to achieve targets.

Hosts and speakers that engage with the guests.

Getting up close and personal with influential hosts and speakers is one major attraction of attending an event. Millennials have shed the reverence that previous generations had when meeting their heroes. They think nothing of talking to them after a session, disagreeing with a point they made during a presentation, or tweeting them before or after the event.

When selecting hosts and speakers who will really engage with Millennials, take a look at their online presence, particularly on social media. Chances are, these are the individuals who are at the forefront of their industry. Consequently, these will be of the most interest to your attendees. If you are uncertain about who the movers and shakers are – let’s face it, things move quickly where Millennials are concerned! – ask your delegates on social media who they’d love to see at an event.

Try: Spend time online searching for influencers who are great communicators (they should engage in conversation online, rather than only posting self-promotional content); make sure your attendees are actively promoting the event on all their social media platforms; encourage speakers to stay for the duration of the event so they can mix with attendees; share the hosts’ and speakers’ social media contact details with attendees before and during the event (on large projector screens, posters and conference material). 

Have you held an event for Millennials? Can you share any advice for the Get Invited community? Share in the Comments section below or on Twitter!