Leverage Digital Technology to Pitch to Younger Professionals
With Millennials set to command $200 billion in annual purchasing power by 2017, event organizers (many of whom are ‘mature’ Baby Boomers or from Generation X), are making a concerted effort to understand how to pitch their events to the younger, mobile professionals.
They recognize that the unprecedented and extremely rapid evolution of mobile technology has had an indelible impact on the younger generation that has grown up in the last two decades.
According to a feature report published by the American Psychology Association, there are some specific characteristics that define Millennials:
- They are huge multitaskers
- They prefer learning in a less formal environment
- They are more experiential and exploratory learners
- They like to be a part of online networks and social communities
So, how can event organizers strategize to extend the reach of their events to newer and younger professionals? We recommend the Audience Event Lifecycle ModelTM:
STEP 1 – Attract (prior to the event)
· Promote your upcoming event online through interactive multi-media content. Short informative videos appeal to millennials much more than static content.
· Recruit influential exhibitors and speakers to pitch their participation to their younger fans and followers.
· Incentivize newly registered attendees to promote your event to their peers. Word of mouth recommendations carry more weight with millennials than targeted advertising by event organizers.
STEP 2 – Engage (during the event)
· Provide a fast, real-time and high performance native mobile app to help younger attendees maximize their time at the event.
· Nullify ‘Second Screen’ distraction by encouraging them to use their personal devices to participate in an official mobile-based gamification event.
· Provide interactive kiosks and displays to showcase new products, hot innovations and cool contests on the show floor.
· Provide mobile tools to help young attendees form new connections and network with other participants.
· Provide more hands-on learning opportunities as well as shorter, power-pack sessions to deliver high value while keeping audience fully engaged.
STEP 3 - Convert (after the event)
· Leverage post-show surveys to keep first-time attendees engaged and invested in your event.
· Provide them with opportunities to participate in online communities built around your brand.
· Continue to provide session handouts, additional networking opportunities and engaging digital content to bring them back to your next event.
This article is based on a session presented by Rajiv Jain, CEO of a2z, Inc. at the recently concluded International Association of Exhibitions and Events' Expo! Expo! 2014.