Wednesday, January 10, 2018
By now everyone’s heard about millennials. Still, we wonder: what exactly are they, why is the tourism industry always talking about them, and why should we care?
Let’s start with a few facts: millennials were born between 1980 and 2000, so they’re basically the 18–34 segment. In 2016 millennials overtook baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) to become North America’s largest demographic. More exciting still, as of 2017, they’re slated to become the segment that generates the most stays per year in U.S. hotels.
So how can you draw more millennials to conferences? What’s the best way to interact with them? To help you get “hip” with them, here are a few of their defining characteristics.
A Digital Generation
Having grown up with the web and social media, millennials feel right at home online. That’s why they’re more likely to use digital tools than either baby boomers or Gen-Xers.
Pay close attention to your brand image and presence on review sites, offer a “best price” guarantee on your homepage, and make sure your site has a high mobile ranking (meaning it’s in the top results on smartphones and tablets).
A Mobile Generation
Like so many people these days, millennials spend a lot of time on their phones. Which is why more and more hotels are using apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, and even Snapchat to interact with them.
Being active and engaging on key social media (Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor) will help you gain sway with this segment. Since Facebook ads can be targeted to a specifi c area, they’re a good way to promote nearby attractions or catch travellers in town for a conference. Make sure you have a hashtag to share so you can follow the conversation and generate stronger storytelling for your organization.
A Certain Kind of Loyal
There’s a common misconception that millennials are more fickle, less loyal consumers. A number of studies have shown otherwise—depending on what you’re looking for.
Gather contact information for your clientele, if only to send them newsletters and exclusive promotions. Offering an instant discount (10%) or added value for signing up is always a great motivator. Make sure your form is easy to fill out and mobile-friendly. One last tip: With Facebook, you can create forms that automatically populate the “name” and “email address” fields with the customer’s info!
This article was first published in Québec Centre Magazine, the Québec City Convention Centre’s exclusive magazine.
About Frédéric Gonzalo
Frédéric Gonzalo, Speaker and Digital Marketing Consultant.