Understanding what millennials really want has been a nut that organizations have been trying to crack for several years now – and for good reason. By 2018, millennials will have $3.39 trillion in spending power, surpassing the purchasing power of baby boomers.
The good news for event professionals is that millennials crave experiences over things. If you want to foster millennial loyalty with your brand — start by enticing them with amazing experiences via experiential marketing.
Tip 1: Don’t let long lines get in the way of the main event
Since millennials crave convenience and want to spend their time experiencing things, don’t waste their time standing in line. Give attendees wristbands with radio-frequency identification (RFID) or iBeacon technology to grant them easy entry and speed up the checkin process.
Take a page from music festivals like Lollapalooza’s book and encourage attendees to upload their credit card information to their event wristbands in advance. That way they can easily pay for goods and refreshments without cash.
Bonus tip: Eventgoers often spend more money when they can pay for goods without cash or cards.
Tip 2: Allow millennials to be immersed in your experience
Experiential marketing is all about catering to your audience and giving them the experiences they want.
Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” experiential marketing campaign is one of the most talked about to date. In 2014, Bud Light invited 1,300 millennials to Crested Brutte, CO, which was renamed “Whatever, USA” for the campaign. Attendees partied with celebrities, had the most epic weekend of their lives and, all while enjoying an ice cold Bud Light.
Here are some of Bud Light’s results:
- Participants created more than 37,000 pieces of content, such as photos and videos of the event.
- More than 1.8 million consumers engaged in the promotions, exceeding Bud Light’s projections by more than 300 percent.
- Usage increased by 39 percent among those aware of the experience vs. those unaware of it.
Granted, most event budgets won’t let you take over and rename a town, but you can still manage to immerse your audience in branded fun at a smaller scale. Bud Light understood their audience and provided an experience accordingly.
How can you find out what they want? Listen and observe.
Use Tweetdeck to see what conversations your customers they’re having on social media. If they’re interested in Game of Thrones, have that be the theme of your next event, filled with trivia, costumes and photo booths. The sky’s the limit. Whatever you decide, just make sure it fits with your brand and goals.
Tip 3: Make it easy for Millennials to share experiences with their friends
Even if your event is an exclusive VIP affair, social sharing will encourage FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) among those who weren’t lucky enough to make the list. Cover the basics, by having a branded hashtag included in all of your event promotion and at your events. That way everyone will be buzzing about your brand.
If you’d like for people to do a branded content share on your behalf, request a Snapchat Geofilter. You can design one before your event and submit it to the social network for approval. When the big day comes, attendees can easily include your brand within their snaps when they look for filters to complement their pictures and videos at your event.
If you’d like to make sure your community is buzzing about your event and increase attendance, consider using an interactive event calendar like Localist. Attendees can help promote your experience in advance by simply logging onto your calendar with their Facebook ID and share all the details about the event with their friends.
What other ways would you use experiential marketing to win over millennials? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Want more tips like these? Download a free copy of our newest Experiential Marketing 2.0 guide.