Trade Shows and Millennials: Bridging the Gap

    Trade Shows and Millennials: Bridging the Gap

    We are now marketing to six different generations: G.I. Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials (Gen-Y), and Gen-Z. This means marketing can be a balancing act at times; but to be effective you need to narrow your focus.

    In this article, we’re going to narrow our focus and take a closer look at millennials. Also known as Gen-Y, Millennials are the generation born from 1985-1997 (Associated Press Stylebook), more or less. This generation includes 80 million people; this is  even bigger than the Baby Boom generation, and much larger than Generation X. Their purchasing power will exceed that of Boomers in just a few years.  The way Millennials receive and share ideas and experience customer service is much different from the prior generations.

    Defining Characteristics

    It’s not easy to define Millennials; ironically, this is part of what defines them. One of the few characteristics that experts seem to agree on is that Millennials celebrate brand purpose. The research is in and it shows that Millennials seek out and buy brands that align with their values. They are attracted to brands that connect with a social purpose. In essence, Millennials want a personal connection to the items and services they pay for. Marketing content should have an organic feel and seem spontaneous and personal. AdAge research revealed that Millennials named Nike as their top affinity brand,

    “You always feel as if Nike is speaking directly to you.”

    Millennials want to have a two-way conversation. If they feel like they are involved in an important in a meaningful way with the brand, they’re more likely to engage and be loyal.

    Millennials and Trade Shows

    The great news about Millenials is they don’t shy away from face-to-face contact. According to a study from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR),

    “61% of Millennials aged 18-27 believe that exhibits at exhibitions, conventions, and annual meetings are more valuable today than they were two years ago. That’s the highest of any generation.”

    The biggest things you need to remember if you’re marketing to Millennials at trade shows is to engage in a hands-on way. They want to interact with your product or service. Be authentic. Make sure to communicate the higher purpose of your brand and how it makes the world better.

    Technology and Millennials

    For years now, technology has played an important role in trade show displays. Whether it is a tablet  at your booth that collects information from visitors, or a time-lapsed video display of your exhibit being built, Millenials will be attracted to your booth if you use technology.

    Now, one of the hard parts of using technology at a trade show, is how to best implement it into your exhibits design, as well as making sure the technology works correctly. This is why it’s important to go through our trade show planning checklist to ensure technology is being used in a meaningful, yet sensible way. By engaging the trade show attendees with fun and innovative audio and visual elements, you can gain a leg up on your competition. And don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of people in their mid to late twenties swarming around your booth. Also, if you need help building your exhibit, a trade show booth rental just might be the answer you were looking for. These rentals can include audio and visual equipment, as well as other forms of technology, that will enhance the attendees experience when visiting your booth.

    In any industry,  businesses have to learn how to adapt with current trends of the times. Right now, Millennials are the driving force behind many industries. By bridging the generation gap, and marketing or creating your trade show booth to be appealing to this generation, you will be able to generate more well qualified leads.

    Don’t forget to check back often for more tips and tricks for your next trade show.

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