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3 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Event Industry for the Better

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The way I see it, we Millennials are the low hanging fruit for the rest of society to blame their ills on.

Barely a day goes by where my generation isn’t blamed for the death of another American cultural staple. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that tongue-in-cheek articles are popping up on the internet with headlines such as “What are Millennials killing today?

But before we pay our last respects to the ongoing list of things that Millennials have supposedly slaughtered, let’s look at some things we’re doing right (despite our obsession with avocado toast and vegan soy lattes).

Not only are Millennials setup to make many positive changes to our world, but our perspectives and interests open the door for many evolutions in event planning and management, some of which have already taken hold.

Here are three ways Millennials are changing the event industry for the better.

1. Millennials are driving more tech innovation

Millennials see technology as a complement to daily activities, and this mindset has directly contributed to the exponential growth of tech permeating every crevice of our lives. And, despite all the bad press Millennials get because we constantly have some device in our hands, our knowledge of technology brings a lot to the table for event management.

Event management is feeling the Millennial influence with the introduction of several technologies.

Wearable technology

It’s not enough that we all have smartphones in our pockets every hour of every day, but now we’re actually wearing our technology. Smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, bring the smartphone experience to our wrists, giving event managers an opportunity to keep event attendees informed using push notification features in event management software.

Social media

Entire events are now fully documented and stored on the internet thanks to the capabilities of social media. Ad hoc feedback, videos, images, poll results, and attendee research are all available through social networks and easily mined with social media management software. Millennials are avid social media users.

According to SmallBizTrends, Millennials spend eight hours a day online and make up 70% of the Facebook user pool in 2017. This time spent online means Millennials know how to navigate social media better than anyone. And this social media savvy proves useful not only on the job as an event manager, but also benefits event planners through social engagement with Millennial attendees.

Mobile event apps

Millennials are the top smartphone users compared to other generations. The widespread adoption of smartphones has led to an increase in the creation of mobile event apps that enable event planners to carry out such tasks as ticketing, notifications, scheduling, event mapping, RFID, and networking all through attendees’ mobile devices.

Event dashboard and schedule in EventsXD (Source: EventsXD)

New technologies, such as these, tend to satisfy Millennials’ need for instant gratification. They’ve also encouraged event planners to adapt by coming up with more creative ways to plan, host, and analyze events.

2. Millennials understand the value of collaboration

The West Midland Family Center (WMFC) created a chart which details all the differences between the four most prominent generations in America today: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. One interesting Millennial attribute is our ability to “thrive in a collaborative work environment.”

This value is one that is highly applicable to the event management industry, which requires plenty of teamwork and collaboration.

Not only do Millennials value team collaboration, but they also tend to seek out guidance from outside their work circles.

According to Cvent’s 2015 Event Planner report on Millennials (referred to in the report as Generation Y), 41% of event planners fall within the 18- to 34-year-old range, and this demographic shows a high propensity for flexibility and seeking input from others. Ninety-seven percent of respondents say they find peer recommendations to be either highly or somewhat influential of their decision-making sourcing event venues.

Influence of peer recommendations when sourcing an event venue (Source: Cvent)

These trends also suggest that Millennials will have a positive impact on event team collaboration for years to come through their willingness to work together, since collaboration is the key to event management success. This trend has the potential to decrease the likelihood of problems through miscommunication or lack of communication.

3. Millennials expect a personalized experience

Millennials are not satisfied being yet another indiscernible gear in the overall machine of society.

We’re idealistic. We like to think of ourselves as special in some way or another, and we want our experiences to treat us as such. This means we place a heavy onus on businesses to personalize the consumer experience. According to Tom McGee at Forbes:

“Millennials want a customer-centric experience in which they feel wanted and valued. Whether it is in-store or through social media channels, showing interest in these shoppers creates loyalty.”

In order to accomplish this level of personalization, event managers must examine whether or not they’re using attendee data as effectively as they could.

Millennial event planners are using the technology we’ve already discussed to create that personalized experience by measuring the needs and desires of event attendees. For example, RFID technology lets event planners send personalized notifications to attendees based on their location and interests. They can then quantify their actions (such as link clicks or session attendance) using the reporting features in event management software, which contributes to an overall better experience down the road.

Social media also plays a role in personalization, since 69% of people in the U.S. use some type of social media as of 2017. With over half of the U.S. population sharing their experiences, tastes, and desires on the internet, it’s easier than ever to create an event personalization strategy.

Don’t be left behind on the latest event tech trends

Millennials aren’t the only ones changing the event planning industry. Gen Xers and other generations have plenty to offer through their own extensive experience in the event management industry, including event organization, connections with vendors, and managing teams. The Capterra event management blog will help you stay up to date with these new event tech, trends, and guides:

What do you think of Millennials and their impact on event management? What impact have they had on your event planning business? Be sure to let me know in the comments section below.

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a Content Writer for Capterra, a free resource that matches buyers and sellers of business software. He has a background in politics, economics, and journalism, which he dedicates his off-time to contributing his thoughts to other political sites. In his free-time he enjoys reading, drawing, photography, playing guitar, writing, and cooking.

Comments

I’m glad someone is standing up for millennials! Like it or not, they are the present and the future, and you’re right, they do have a great sense of the right way to do events!

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