The Rise of Gen Z
Representing those born between 1995 and 2015, your attendees aged 18-25 are members of Generation Z.
Generally speaking, this generation have a different set of values and communication preferences to older audiences. Given they are expected to account for 27% of the workforce by 2025, it’s important that you consider them in your event planning.
So, how can you create a corporate event experience for these delegates? What does this new and emerging demographic want from events and how can you appeal to them?
Here are some suggestions to get you thinking.
Social Media continues to play a pivotal role in events. From pre-event marketing to during the event itself, the engagement and interaction of delegates with your event via social media platforms must never be underestimated. Your Gen Z audience may be on the lookout for ‘Instagrammable’ venues that they can use as a backdrop for content. And don’t forget the instantaneous nature of Facebook live or Instagram stories, which means your event could be shared as it happens with a much larger audience than those sat in front of you.
Consider how you can harness the power of social media to create a more joined-up event experience. This could include drumming up pre-event interest with drip-fed teaser content, running social campaigns that share a common hashtag to drive engagement, providing photo and video updates throughout the event and more.
Consider your event objectives and look at whether social media provides additional opportunities to meet each one.
Engagement and personalisation is extremely important. From pre-event marketing to event check-in and to data collection, make your event resonate with your audience by delivering a tailored and personalised experience.
For example, you can have LED displays that welcome delegates by name as they approach, or alert attendees when someone they wish to network with is nearby. Technology can support you in delivering a highly personalised event, even for a huge number of delegates.
The important thing to bear in mind, however, is knowing your audience. Having the right data, in the right accessible format, can allow you to produce a personalised feel to any event you run that goes beyond the usual marketing hack of inserting someone’s first name into an email salutation. The more you genuinely know about your audience, then better experience you can give them.
When considering data, of course you need to ensure your delegates are the ones who have shared their data with you. Aside from any data protection or GDPR concerns, including personalisation based on data that attendees haven’t willingly shared would come across as plain creepy! Not something you want your audience to associate your event and your brand with.
Entertainment and F&B
UK-based PR company, Full Fat, has recently released insightful data on engaging with the Gen Z audience. Their research highlighted that there is a growing number of teetotallers in this demographic.
To be a hit with Gen Z, make sure your event has a good selection of activities – from hands-on workshops to opportunities to try something new; it’s all about giving an experience and, ideally, one that can be easily shared on social media! Plus, Full Fat’s research highlights the importance of including alcohol-free beverages and vegan food options at your event.
Again, if you can take the time to get to know your audience’s preferences in advance, then you can make informed food & beverage decisions that will not only please your attendees, but potentially save waste and costs.
Due to the way this generation consumes content on channels such as TikTok and YouTube, event and meetings planners need to replicate these short, energy-fuelled formats in order to engage and hold their attention.”
Meeting planners and brand marketers need to meet this generation where they are. Content needs to be authentic and empathetic. They work smart and believe that anything can be learned by watching a YouTube video. Employers and brands need to be transparent and unfiltered when communicating with them.
It’s important to be mindful that Gen Z has grown up with diversity and inclusivity, and as such they’ll also notice the lack of it.
As an event organiser, it’s your job to do everything it takes to host inclusive events.
For example, find diverse speakers, offer diverse food such as halal or vegetarian options and be sure to keep event accessibility as a priority.
From hiring sign language interpreters to ensuring wheelchair access, make sure your event is genuinely and sincerely inclusive.
To chat about planning your next company conference, meeting or incentive, do get in touch with the Gray Dawes Events team!
And remember, when it comes to corporate events, experience is everything… yours, your delegates and ours!
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