Double Duty: Why Hybrid Events Hook Millennials

By Ellen Gomes

There’s something about Millennials and the distinctive way they approach the world that gets us talking and theorizing. We can’t seem to put our finger on them, most likely because they are still writing a long future. But there’s no debating this fact: marketers can’t ignore the power of Millennials and how they’re reshaping business. Why? According to Pew Research, Millennials officially compose the largest U.S. age demographic at 75.4 million (sorry, Boomers, you’re second), with a projected spending power of $200 billion annually and $10 trillion in their lifetimes.

These stats certainly grab our attention, especially as Millennials grow into the decision makers and gatekeepers over the next two decades. To stay relevant to this unique group, particularly one so incredibly tech-savvy and explorative, yet fickle about brand loyalty, brands must employ varied marketing approaches.

Enter the hybrid event, an evolving brand experience solution that may be the perfect fit for this demanding demographic. Hybrid events cater to this demographic’s needs by offering both on-site and virtual components for attendees and participants. By identifying and understanding key Millennial characteristics, we can see how hybrid events satisfy their sweet tooth for content consumption and social involvement.

Millennials Thrive in Both Physical and Digital Worlds

Millennials have the distinction of being the only demographic that has never experienced life without the internet. A morning spent chasing a hashtag across Twitter is as natural as an afternoon chasing waves at the beach. With the continued rise in digital tech (or more like digital ecosystems), as technology from augmented reality to Snapchat become the norm, both the virtual and physical worlds blend in real time to captivate Millennials—and this is a shift that can seem alien to other age demographics.

Hybrid events seamlessly integrate live and virtual experiences, often through means such as live streaming, second screen technology (which turn presentations into an interactive two-way conversation via attendees’ own devices with on-screen content, live polling, and audience feedback), or post-event webinars. Thus, hybrid events and Millennials are a match made in marketing heaven, because both symbiotically coexist in the online and physical worlds.

Delivering these types of experiences can seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Major brands already employ hybrid features in their events, such as Apple’s WWDC or Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Event, which include live streaming and content capture. What’s more, audiences in the digital revolution often seek quick solutions and welcome instant startups. Consequently, online event providers are now available to seamlessly and economically host and manage hybrid events, even for small to midsize organizations.

Millennials Want Unique Experiences

Beyond being notoriously skeptical of brands and traditional marketing ploys, Millennials prefer experiences over material goods. To them, the “next best thing” is not the latest smartphone but a night out with friends at a concert they can share on social media. Originality trumps stuff any day of the week.

Hybrid events offer the novelty and adventure that Millennials crave. Connecting in real time with a speaker Go to the full article.

Source:: Marketo

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