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How will Generation Z change the way you manage events?

6th September 2012

Generation Z, also known as the Net Generation, is anyone born in the early 1990s to the beginning of the 21st century. For Generation Z, the web was born before they were. Imagine that! They've never lived in a world where www didn't exist.

They’ve grown up in a place that has immediate access to information and constant connectivity. Virtual worlds are not unique or surprising to them. They may never have actually met many of the people they call 'friends'. Watching TV whilst tweeting on their mobiles and checking their emails simultaneously comes naturally to them. They read from Kindles. They text more than they talk and they’re far more capable on an iPad than their parents.

What will this mean for the events industry?
How will events evolve to meet the needs of a generation thought to have short attention spans and demanding immediate gratification and knowledge? With the world digitally at their fingertips, will exhibitions become an antiquated out-of-touch way for Gen Ys to find answers to their questions and solve their issues.

And what about conferences? With their Powerpoint sessions and drawn-out debates cause them to lose patience and seek alternative solutions? As mobile connectivity increases will a majority decide not to attend a live event, but instead participate from wherever they are by hooking into live streams and using a variety of social networking tools to interact? 

Networking on the web virtualises our lives. This increased virtualisation means live events could become a powerful way to solidify the connections we make virtually, making social media and events the two most powerful marketing opportunities for brands. But are we ready to create the right kind of events to make this happen?

How will we market our events to this generation?
For Generation Z, there is no debate over whether social media is worth it or really going to catch on. Sharing and connecting through social media is very much a part of their lives. If they like what you’re selling, they share it. If you haven’t caught on yet to engaging with your audience through social media channels, once Generation Z are old enough to become your consumers, you’re going to be invisible to them.

But what really captures their attention and interest? How do you create stickiness around your brand and your event? When Generation Z enjoy so much of their lives virtually, how do you make sure that they not only engage with your event, but actually attend it? 

Find out at the AEO Marketing and Ops Forum
We're posing more questions than we're answering but, we're looking forward to finding some of the answers to these questions at next week's AEO Ops Forum, where Andy Murfitt from The Skills Show will share his insights and experience from organising WorldSkills UK. He'll also discuss how their marketing campaign has been adapted to appeal to Gen Z.

The AEO Ops Forum takes place at Earls Court Conference Centre on Thursday 13 September and also includes sessions on health and safety, the e-guide, sustainability, the importance of data and successfully geo-cloning your events. Of particular interest to Events Guru readers will be an update on the Wi-Fi connectivity debate from the AEO working group. It's not too late to register simply click here.

The Marketing Forum, which runs alongside the Ops Forum, includes sessions on integrating online and offline communications, mobile marketing and its role in events, the role of TV in your event strategy and consumer behaviour. Click here to book now.

Have you got ideas or views to share on the future of events? Are you preparing for Generation Z? If so, how? Email the team and let us know.



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