By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers. This growing population began in the mid-nineties and already consists of over 2 billion people. As Gen Z gets older, businesses are taking note of the impact this consumer base is going to make and how they can best meet their demands.
For event planners in particular, this involves reassessing the elements that make up a successful event and developing a thorough understanding of Gen Z’s preferences. In this post, we’ve outlined some key tips to guide you through your next Gen Z targeted event.
Marketing: An Increased Focus on Digital
To create hype around your event, begin with strategizing the best ways to communicate with your potential attendees. To generate conversation around an upcoming event for Gen Z you have to put yourself in their shoes. Email is outdated, and don’t even think about print ads, as generation researcher David Stillman has stated, “This generation craves visual communication. They want emojis, videos and other appealing images.”
Considering Gen Z uses an average of five screens per day, anything digital is where you want to be putting your focus. Push notifications are great option in replace of email, to continuously remind attendees of an upcoming event and any updates.
Social Media: Don't Use "Uncool" Channels
Social media is in a class of its own when it comes to marketing events in 2019. It is a critical element to a successful event for Gen Z. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are all viable options for promoting your event, sharing details, and engaging with attendees.
Facebook events: Facebook event pages are the perfect place to house all your event information such as location and time, as well as respond directly to attendees’ comments or queries. Also, because Facebook creates a notification when a user registers for an event, visibility of your event increases to that attendees followers.
Hashtags: A branded hashtag to promote your event is easily shareable and offers great free publicity once people start picking it up. Additionally, hashtags make a great engagement metric you can track on multiple platforms.
Location: Doing it for the Gram
Unique, trendy and “Instagrammable” venues are ideal for Gen Z events. To truly excite this group of people, traditional conference centers won’t cut it. Social media sharing has shown there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating extraordinary experiences. Top-notch events must be in top-notch locations.
Be creative when deciding on a location for your next Gen Z event. Restored barns or warehouses, pop-up art galleries and outdoor spaces are just a few unusual enough ideas to get attendees through the door and snapping pics.
Shareability: Pics or It Didn't Happen
Half the fun of attending an event in this age of technology is sharing it on social media. To ensure your event is optimized for sharing, free WiFi availability is essential. Instagrammable displays, social media walls, hashtag reminders and personalized takeaways are all great options for increasing shareability of your event.
When designing an event for Gen Z keep in mind what elements would bode well for social media and how you can improve the odds of attendees wanting to capture moments throughout your event. This adds stimulation to attendees experiences while also serving as valuable, authentic marketing for you.
Purpose: Have Fun AND Do Good
Like their millennial predecessors, Gen Z puts great emphasis on philanthropy and prefers to participate in events that benefit the greater good. Event organizers should keep this perspective in mind when designing an event to ensure it not only offers a way for attendees to make a difference but demonstrates how they are.
Promoting a “green” initiative for your event is a great way to improve the earth and win over Gen Z. Choosing a venue based on how “green” their operations are, offering sustainable food options, or organizing a contribution to the community the event is hosted in are all great ways to attract Gen Z attendees.
Technology: Print Is So Out of Date
Gen Z is most comfortable utilizing the latest technology and expects it to be available at modern events. Event organizers should account for tech savvy attendees and try to incorporate innovative elements within an event. A few ideas include mobile event apps, RFID check in, gamification of event activities and technology induced experiences, such as virtual or augmented reality stations.
As Gen Z grows older and more prominent in the marketplace, we will continue to learn more about them and their preferences. Utilize your upcoming events to source new ideas and opinions from attendees to create the optimal Gen Z events moving forward. We hope this piece helps get you started!
Author Bio: Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.