How to Build Meaningful Events for Gen Z
Generation Z is the demographic group born between 1997 and 2015. While Millennials are already represented in the working force and as consumers in the marketplace, Gen Z are just starting to enter these worlds. Unlike Millennials who came of age in the Great Recession, Gen Z was predicted to have a better economic and work fate. It all changed with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that shifted almost every country’s social, political and economic rhetoric. Apart from this ever-changing situation, here’s what we know about Gen Z: They are a more ethnically diverse cohort than previous generations, they are highly educated and have a yearn for learning and are technology savvy.
For event planners, this means going back to the drawing board and developing a successful event based on Gen Z’s preferences.
It has to be fun, but also have a purpose
Similarly to their millennial predecessors, Gen Z have political views that differ from other previous generations and an increased preference for philanthropy. They favour taking part in events that benefit the greater good. It’s not only important to create an event that offers Gen Z attendees the opportunity to make a difference, but that also shows how event planners are already making it. For example, by creating an event about sustainability, make sure your choice of venue and how it is run as well as food supply and other commodities are planned accordingly to the same ideology. The worst thing an event planner can do is to promote a ‘green’ event and serve food in disposable containers.
Save the paper
The majority of Gen Z attendees grew up surrounded by technology and are accustomed to using it in their daily lives. They will expect the same level of technology to transfer into and enhance their event experience. Event planners need to make sure they incorporate innovative components within their events. Mobile apps, RFID check-in, gamification of event activities or the use of VR or AR as technology-induced experiences are some of the ideas you can use when planning your event.
Digital Marketing and Social Media
Gen Z are so far the most tech-savvy generation and love content on all levels. They are engaging although guarded with their personal information, but want to engage and be engaged, regardless of the quality of the content. That is why apps such as Tik Tok or the Stories feature of Instagram became so popular within this generation.
For event planners, the message is clear: make sure your event is shareable or it didn’t happen! With the amount, Gen Z spends online, focus your marketing on digital platforms. Push notifications are a great way to keep your guests informed about your upcoming event and any important updates.
It’s always about the location
Ditch the traditional, boring conference venues for unique, trendy and ‘instagrammable’ locations. Exciting events must be in exciting (online and offline) locations. Be creative when looking for a prospective location for an event catered to Gen Z attendees. Locations such as barns, pop-art galleries, warehouses or other unconventional venues can create exciting experiences and have your guests snapping photos and sharing with others.
Ensure venues have ‘instagrammable’ displays and are designed for social media platforms. This will increase the chances of capturing your guests’ attention and improve their overall sensorial experience. Nonetheless, it’s important to make sure your event has WiFi available so that your guests can share all their amazing photos on their social media apps.
As this generation becomes the consumer base, businesses will continue to learn and implement strategies to better serve this new group. Use your events to gather new ideas and opinions from Gen Z attendees to create the ultimate event in the future.