What can grab an eight-second attention span? That’s the question you’re really going to have to ask yourself if you want to bring Generation Z to your next event. Speaking as a member of Gen Z myself, I know we are a tough crowd to please.
Between personal insight and some industry research, I’ve compiled three main tips that will give you a little glance into the minds of Gen Z-ers:
1. We Crave “Share-Worthy” Media and Information
This may be obvious as you can look around and pretty much see any 15- to 25-year-old consumed with their phone. Take advantage of this and include something so “share-worthy” at your next event that we won’t want to miss out. Some suggestions include:
- Industry Leaders: A big name or big company presence will always attract people. A survey of Gen Zers actually rated “the who” of the event as the most important aspect when considering an event, even in front of having WiFi (shock!).
- Location: Unique and trendy is in. We would much rather spend our money going to a vintage warehouse or a cool museum than the same hotels or conference centers every time. We’re not just there to listen, we’re there for the whole environment. And the pictures (we are sure to post) definitely help for promotion!
- Internet Connection: If we can’t ‘gram it, are we even there? In all seriousness, having accessible event WiFi is important from social media posting to note-taking and multitasking in between. It’s great event marketing for you and exciting for us — a real win-win!
2. We Don’t Just Want to Watch, We Want to Be a Part Of It
Change it up! Flip the lecture-style upside down and have us teach you. Yes, we still go to conferences and events to educate ourselves and learn new things, but we also want to interact and be heard. You could try:
- Live-Tweeting: Ask questions pertaining to the session and ask us to live-tweet answers. This keeps us refreshed and involved in the topic. Consider displaying some of the best answers on a screen for everyone to see and even create a cool hashtag for the event.
- Contests: Who doesn't love free things? Instead of spending your money on a lot of little swag to give away (remember social media needs to be a part of your marketing strategy), buy a few awesome t-shirts and encourage participation in order to win them. Try an instagram contest where the “best selfie” from each session wins a t-shirt. This tactic will foster networking and get our creative juices flowing.
3. We Thrive in Low Pressure, High Output Environments
While we may love social media (a little too much), we still value quality networking. The key is to lean towards a casual atmosphere, like a trendy bar or restaurant to help make connections more natural. And for a virtual event, tie the networking into a fun activity, like a mixology class or a BYOB margarita contest and trivia, where we can chat and have fun at the same time.
In the end, we would rather gather around a nice couch (in-person or virtually) with a drink in our hand and talk, than stand in a chilly conference hall with just a name tag.
Are you ready to accept the challenge and attract more Gen Z to your event? Check out some additional tips in our complete guide on event promotion — or for more event promotion tips specifically — our Event Marketing guide below!
This article was originally published on 6/20/18; updated 9/2/20 with added value.