The wedding industry as we know it today has transformed in leaps and bounds within the past several decades. From traditionalist details to one-of-a-kind designs, the shift between Generations X and Y (and soon Z) has played a major role in the changes that we continue to see in the market.
When planning events, millennials don’t want the same styles that they see at their friends’ celebrations; instead, they are looking for innovation and forward-thinking ideas. They not only want the latest and greatest, though — they want it now. The digital age has instilled a need for instant gratification that can make or break a client experience, depending on a company’s priorities. If a venue wants to sell to more millennials, they must be aware of how today’s client thinks and operates.
Here are some considerations when working with millennials and sharing your venue’s vision for their event.
Collaborative planning tools
Now more than ever, clients want to have a significant hand in planning their event. They may not be too concerned with the logistics but do have their own design ideas; alternately, they may be comfortable leaving the design in someone else’s hands so they can manage the timeline and technical details. Regardless, it’s essential for venues (and other vendors, for that matter) to be prepared to work collaboratively with all clients. There are countless online tools and platforms available to make the client experience as seamless as possible.
Social media sharing
It’s 2019 and the world seemingly revolves around likes, hashtags, and stories. People are engaging with brands on social media more than ever before, and that is especially true in the events industry. We work in such a visual field, which makes social media sharing that much easier (and more effective). It’s critical for venues to be visible online to showcase their latest innovations and events, while also being reachable for inquiries. Most millennials prefer to stick to emails, texts, or social media messages for initial contact, so save the in-person appointment for later.
A venue’s website is a key component of selling today and generally serves as the ‘first impression’ to most prospective clients. In addition to having live chat support with clear contact information and social media links, a venue should offer transparent pricing and recent event images. It’s also recommended to include an interactive widget to showcase your venue’s floorplan – a 360 tour of the event space is invaluable and brings in a tremendous ROI. This kind of feature helps to sell your space directly from your website and, for millennials who would much rather check it out during their lunch break first, you’re providing a time-saving and efficient solution. Paired with a Skype session, phone call or even virtual reality headset, they can get the whole virtual walkthrough from the comfort of their home or office.
Millennials tend to be careful decision-makers, considering many factors when making a choice. When it comes to hosting a celebration, be it a wedding, birthday party, corporate event, or anniversary, they come into the process knowing what they want — it’s then up to you to showcase how your company can fulfill those needs.
With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.