In Generational Marketing

Millennials have to be THE most coveted target audience for marketers these days. That’s why, if you run events, we have great news. Study after study has proven that this generation overwhelmingly values experiences over possessions, so marketing events to millennials is a winning strategy based on solid research. Let’s break it down…

Who they are

When the U.S. Census Bureau released its population estimates in April 2016, they revealed that Millennials (ages 18-34) clocked in at 75.4 million, finally outpacing the nation’s 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). Of course, like any group, marketers should never look at Millennials as a one-note audience. Based on demographic and psychographic data, Experian Information Solutions has identified four distinct segments within the generation:

  1. Forever Educating | Well-schooled in very specialized fields, these Millennials in their mid-20s are striving to attain a lifestyle and level of affluence comparable to their parents.
  2. Young Independence, Young Family | This segment has prioritized having kids over furthering their education, are typically dual-income and realistically feel they won’t make the same amount of money as their parents.
  3. Failure to Launch | Since these Millennials have it pretty good at their well-to-do mom and dad’s house, they decide to stay rather than living and functioning on their own in “the real world.”
  4. We’ve Made It | These young professionals are making real progress in their workplaces and enjoying the fruits of their labor with significant disposable income.

What they like

Even though they’re a diverse bunch, here’s a peek at three live, multi-day events that attract an abundance of Millennials like a magnet, year-after-year:

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (most of us know it simply as Coachella) is an annual event held over two April weekends in the middle of the desert in California. It’s a supermodel and celebrity-studded affair that drew crowds of 99,000 festival-goers each day last year.


South by Southwest (SXSW)—an annual music, film and interactive festival that flooded the Austin market with over $325 million during its 2016 event alone—shows how large-scale events can have a massive financial impact on a destination.


What began as a one-day comic book convention in 1970 has mightily morphed into Comic Con International: San Diego, an event attended by over 130,000 lovers of science fiction and fantasy (many enthusiastically costumed as their favorite characters). Now most major cities host their own Comic Con events to bring together like-minded individuals celebrating their passion and enthusiasm for the genre.


Why they go

It basically all comes down to one acronym. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a widespread Millennial affliction that’s exacerbated by peers’ showy social media posts. Seeing someone having (or seemingly having) more fun than they are deeply affects these young adults. As a marketer, you can use FOMO as a hook to promote your event as a “must-do” where “everyone who’s anyone” will be.

Where to reach them

In its Traveling with Millennials study, Boston Consulting Group found that these savvy and very connected 18- to 34-year-olds are far more reliant on online reviews, experiences and content than previous generations. They turn to their always-at-hand smartphones, tablets and laptops to tap into websites, blogs, videos, social media posts and other digital content to research where to go and what to do.

How to build buzz

By encouraging Millennials to post user-generated content to social media pages, you (almost effortlessly) build an army of online micro-influencers that can generate awareness for and interest in your event. One easy way to do this is to create a custom Snapchat Geo-Filter so every selfie becomes a valuable branding opportunity.

With the ever-increasing flood of functions and gatherings all vying for this target audience’s attention (and dollars!), it’s vital that you partner with an agency with talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk know-how about marketing events to Millennials. Contact Lynn Kaniper today at or 609.466.9187 ext. 117 to learn how Dana can position your event as a can’t-miss experience.

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