When planning a conference or convention, you'll draw in more of the 80 million millennials if you remember that their preferences, aesthetics and must-haves are a bit more complicated than those of earlier generations.
Be sure these 3 features are a key part of your next business meeting, convention or conference if you want the millennials to attend:
1) Open spaces and multiple venues.
Millennials are driving trends in business gatherings with their reluctance to stay confined to small rooms or meeting spaces for long periods of time.
Think wide open, and take advantage of the larger conference center areas of the facility you're using. Some groups even take over the foyers of large buildings for meetings and conferences. This has the added benefit of drawing in all who enter the front doors.
Another trend for large conventions is creating access to multiple venues within the convention city. Having special events, classes and activities at restaurants, parks and attractions in the host city keeps your participants focused on the purpose of the convention even when they leave the hub of the meeting.
2) Technology that's up to speed.
Engage with potential attendees through social media, and don't be afraid to be bold about it.
Once you get them to your venue, millennials will definitely mock you, and call your operation mediocre, if you don't provide plenty of bandwidth and wi-fi connectivity for their computers and smart devices.
Millennials live on their phones, so be sure the center you're using has an adequate signal. If you're using a hotel's facilities, be sure they don't block wi-fi hotspots.
Use technology to your advantage at the convention by having tablet or smartphone check-in, interactive displays, and materials participants can easily download for use during classes and seminars.
Have a website devoted completely to your convention with schedules and details listed. Upload videos from classes and seminars, post pictures and tweets during your conference, and keep a blog going before, during and after the event. Allow attendees the chance to weigh in online about their positive experiences.
3) Food that's colorful, healthy and full of diversity.
Millennials love organic, free-range and culturally exciting foods. Forget the real sugary donuts, cookies and gummy bears, and instead offer an all-in-one fruit, smoothie and salad bar. Have yogurt and granola available, and offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for all meals.
Don't be afraid to offer curries, Pad Thai, and other diverse dishes. Millennials love to occasionally splurge, so add a pizza bar or ice cream station along with all the healthier choices.
Be sure to touch base with millennials in your own organization to learn about the issues and subjects that are important to them. This will help you formulate your seminar schedule. Next, find out what kind of amenities and meeting styles they find compelling. If you do this, and if you've also met the 3 requirements listed above, you should have millennials flocking to your event.
The best way to keep your special memories alive is to hire a professional photographer to capture them as they happen. But after working with hundreds of professionals over the years as a special events planner, I know first hand that not all photographers are created equally. Some can really focus in on their human subjects to capture emotion that comes right out of the photos, while others are more attuned to making the surroundings in a photo stand out like a 3D feature. So I figured that I could help people who are looking to hire a photography find the best possible fit for the occasion that is going to be documented. Learn the right questions to ask, find out what types of skills to look for, and figure out what tools and resources are needed to capture all the details of your special event.