Millennials are defined as the generation of people born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s. Naturally, this generation is getting older and already make up a significant portion of today’s workforce. It is only logical, then, to factor in millennial tendencies and preferences when strategizing your next trade show event in order to capture this growing audience.
The majority of millennials report being more comfortable with online interactions than with in-person meetings when speaking to people they don’t know. When it comes to trade shows, including this piece of information in your overall strategy can make or break your business’ success at the event. Regardless of your industry, attracting millennials to your booth is a matter of pertinence – and with these tips, it is possible for any business.
Whether you’re selling brooms or software, you’ll want to include an interactive digital component in your trade show display when you target millennials. While generations of the past judged a business largely on the faces smiling back at them from the other side of the table, today’s digital natives are looking less at those faces and more at the screens around them as they decide whether to stop and learn more or keep walking.
Creating the opportunity for passersby to engage with your product – or a simulation of it – within the digital realm will improve the likelihood that you’ll catch their attention to check out what you have to offer, and perhaps strike up a conversation with you about it. (Or, more likely, they’ll take a snap of themselves at your booth for their friends to admire.)
If this isn’t an option for you, there are a few simple features you can offer within your booth:
Updating visual content across your social media channels should be on your radar all the time – but during a trade show, it should be a top priority. Your young audience will be tuned in to everything you do there, and it’s a surefire way to get more people talking about your brand. No matter how many business cards you hand out, it will be hard to reach the same number of eyes as you have the potential to on social media.
Keep each one of your channels up-to-date with fun photos of the event, information about upcoming event activities or presentations, and competitions to engage your audience. Creating a simple, customized hashtag will also allow the word to spread. And don’t forget to include the overall trade show hashtag in all your posts, too!
The word networking makes many people cringe, regardless of their generation. And we’ve just covered the fact that millennials would rather interact digitally than in person. However, trade shows are largely about those face-to-face interactions, whether with peers or industry experts, and millennials know that as much as anyone else. That’s why hosting an event to facilitate these discussions will bring your business to top of mind and distinguish you from the sea of other booths.
Go as basic or creative as you’d like, whether you host a cocktail party or a craft making workshop (ideally, choose something that relates to the trade show’s focus). But offering a forum to facilitate discussion is going to create a literal buzz around your booth – and interest in your business, too!
When it comes to creating a trade show strategy, are you already marketing to millennials? If so, what are you doing? We’d love to hear in the comments below!