In my last blog, I promised to share more about personalizing your meetings as Millennials become a prominent factor in the workforce.
Millennials are accustomed to being served their interests. If they engage with something online, they expect more of the same to be sent their way. Algorithms on digital platforms like Instagram and TikTok quickly pick up on the tastes of the viewer and show or suggest like content.
How can your meetings meet this need? Here are some thoughts for you:
- Gift Shop: If your attendees’ personality trait is to show off their affiliation with your organization, then be sure to talk to the venue about including brand colors throughout the space. Also, have a chat with the gift shop manager about including selections of mugs, scarves, t-shirts, and more in your colors.
- Café Play: Work with cafes located in and around the venue to include a coffee or menu item that incorporates your group’s name.
- App-y Day: If you are utilizing an app for conference information and activities, personalize the app to greet guests by name and deliver their schedule for the day.
- Welcome: Reinforce attendees’ feelings of belonging by including several visible welcomes along the way. Utilize airport signage, area billboards, and banners/window clings at the venue with event logos and messaging. Consider a fun dispatch delivered via the in-room phones or TVs.
- Food Friendly: Ask attendees ahead of time for their dietary preferences and restrictions and accommodate as best as possible. Be sure to include alternative choices during food and drink breaks; including non-alcoholic selections at evening gatherings.
- Personalize Where Possible: Include guest names on swag and/or printed menus. At registration ask attendees for their favorite animal or a fun fact they like to share about themselves and include this information on nametags (also a great icebreaker!).
- Surprise Them: Everyone loves a surprise. If you have a notable speaker lined up, do not reveal who they are until they walk on stage. Build up excitement pre- and during the event with hints, keep everyone guessing. Another fun idea is to ask attendees to fill out a survey beforehand and ask them to choose from three random words, for example Eat, Drink or Sleep. Those who choose Eat will receive a portable lunch tote, Drink will receive a travel mug and Sleep responders receive a set of pillow sprays.
- T-shirts? Instead of t-shirts, consider other wearable items. These days there are so many options including socks, scarves, beanies, and more.
- Curated Activities: Match activities to your attendees. Engage help from the locals for ideas. For example, if your group meets about safety issues, find out if there are any local restaurants that were converted from an old fire or police station. Perhaps a food truck that once served as an ambulance. If your group is all about innovation, find a local incubator for an offsite event, book a futurist as a speaker, or invite in a chef that excels in the latest in molecular gastronomy.
Attendees are precious. Keep them coming back for more, by helping them to understand just how precious they are to you!