3 Keys to Millennial-Engaging Event Entertainment
It has become a staple to the meetings & events industry that in order to create authentic engagement at events, attendees must be met with well-throughout content and entertainment presentations that can immerse them into the experience.
The evolution of corporate event entertainment takes new form as societal and cultural shifts emerge attributed to “the millennial”.
It goes beyond question that millennial audiences are not as easily impressed as they have had a lifetime of access to the internet, modern technologies, and on demand entertainment.
Why Do Millennials Matter?
According to a report by PriceWaterCoopers, “millennials now make up 25% of the population and it is expected that by 2020 they will be 50% of the entire global workforce.”
The very technology that has increased our ability to stay connected has brought with it a diminished attention span. Greatly impacting this key demographic and disrupting traditional event entertainment concepts.
Keeping millennial attendees’ engaged onsite at your meeting or event is crucial to the ROI of it, and as a result of this reality we have seen event entertainment transforming.
Evolution of Event Entertainment
Event professionals are becoming more cutting-edge, including interactive technologies, and adding more bespoke elements into event entertainment.
Taking a fresh approach and designing presentations to penetrate and garner increased levels of meaningful engagement.
Building on this, data-driven event entertainment productions that can capture and measure audience participation will prove to be a lynchpin for the meetings & events industry.
When conceptualizing entertainment for your next event, here are 3 key points to keep in mind:
1. Make It Authentic – There are several marketing studies that point to authenticity as being a crucial value that is dear to millennials.
In an article titled ‘The Transformational Event: Creating Meetings with Meaning’ they go on to explain that there is an importance to creating a “safe space where participants are able to reveal their true selves.”
In the same way event entertainment should have an element of authenticity. Millennials are tired of the heavy sales pitch. They feel turned off when people try too hard, and authenticity in any aspect helps to alleviate that.
Think about the numerous brands using native advertising on platforms such as Instagram. Having influencers post pictures with products in normal everyday fashion and simply tagging the brand in the post.
Some brands, such as Converse, have taken it a step further and do not ask influencers to tag them in their posts.
They figure that if the user decides to mention the brand on their own will, the execution of the post will come across more authentic.
2. Make It Interactive – Ever noticed how millennials can watch TV while being on their mobile devices at the same time? One reason for this is that millennials can handle a higher level of stimulation, which points to their ability to multitask better than any other generation prior.
It is important that your event entertainment includes elements of interaction to get the audience involved and satisfy their need for involvement.
3. Make It Buzzworthy – As millennials have pioneered the “self” content curation, they have adopted the same approach that brands now use, telling their story through the use of media.
Millennials love being on their phones, as smart devices enable them to create stories that they can share instantly with the people that matter most.
Give millennials something worth sharing and they will enthusiastically pass it on to their network.
Event Entertainment for 2015 and Beyond
Amongst the plethora of new options for event entertainment, there are two that are gaining traction as emerging trends:
A term that has a range of meanings, urban entertainment is an emerging form of cutting-edge entertainment for the meetings & events industry that is composed of urban talent with disciplines in:
- Hip Hop Dance
- Graffiti/Street Art
- Parkour/Free Running
- Tricking/Martial Art Stunts
- Beat Boxing
According to Amy Capon from Scarlett Entertainment, in an article titled ’10 Hip Entertainment Ideas for Your Event’ Amy goes on to say that “Urban entertainment has been experiencing a surge in popularity over recent years thanks to talent competition-style shows like ‘America’s Got Talent’ or Sky One’s ‘Got to Dance’.”
An extensive range of crowds seem to be receptive, engaged, and entertained by urban talents. From corporate managers to younger audiences, the dynamic energy of urban acts is contagious.
Performances work well for general session openers, parties, large stage productions, and they can even be structured in team building formats.
Interactive Event Technologies
Event technologies that can allow for two-way communication between the users and event producers are key for the evolution of event entertainment.
Interactive technologies have been successful with a range of audiences including the easily distracted millennials.
Photography Courtesy of BizBash
One of my favorite examples of integrating technology that can support millennial engagement is LightWave. A cutting-edge form of wearable technology for events that was premiered at a Pepsi sponsored party at the SXSW festival of 2014.
Event producers & the DJ were able to modify music, lighting, and other elements based on real-time analytics provided by the revolutionary wristbands.
Photography Courtesy of Wired
It is these kinds of gadgets that will continue to drive the evolving interactive event tech into the future.
Bridging Technology and Event Entertainment
Photography Courtesy of Wired
For the bright minds who can curate entertainment presentations that leverage interactive technological elements, are in an honest position to immerse crowds in a potent brand experience.
With robust platforms that can provide onsite real-time data and post-event analytics, events can now identify areas of opportunity and optimize future millennial-engaging entertainment experiences.
Providing your event attendees with a breath of fresh event entertainment can mean the world to them. It can lead to higher levels of interaction amongst the audience both online and offline, drive more traffic to future events, and create event evangelists to advocate on your event’s behalf.
When designing event entertainment concepts for millennials audiences, remember that they have distinct needs form previous generations. Keep your efforts authentic, interactive, and buzzworthy, and your ROI will reap the benefits.
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