Millennial Meeting Planners
What They Are Like, How They Differ and What You Can Do to Reach Them
Why Is Everyone Talking About Millennial Planners?
The average age of meeting planners is 36.5 years old, and the majority of planners fall into the millennial category. It’s quite clear that this age cohort is of great interest to those in the meetings and conventions industry wanting to book more group business.
Not only are most planners millennials now, according to the Pew Research Center, they are also the United States’ largest living generation and the majority of the workforce.
In a recent Skift article, they said, “Right now, there are really two meetings industries.
There’s the legacy group of older meeting planner buyers and the tourism bureau, convention center, and hospitality suppliers who attend meetings to maintain business relationships that were established long ago. Then there’s the second group of emerging millennial professionals who are hungry to learn and meet new contacts using social media, apps and other digital tools that they’ve grown up with.”
Our team can help you transition your marketing efforts towards this second group of millennial meeting professionals and help your hotel, resort or convention and visitors bureau utilize digital tools to reach this important audience.
Key Millennial Meeting Planner Trends
As bachelor’s degree programs have expanded to meet the needs of more students, so have the topic options. There are 51 bachelor’s degree programs in event management in the United States, 520 in hospitality management and 4,999 in public relations. “Your millennial meeting planners may not have as many years of experience as other generations you work with, but they are likely to be more educated than their predecessors,” according to the Pew Research Center.
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials ironically tend to avoid phone calls. By contrast, text messages and emails don’t require small talk and can more efficiently get them a quick answer to a question.
Millennial planners, by the same token, want to be able to do venue research themselves and get all the information they need digitally — and in an engaging format.
TechSmith research found that 60% of millennials understand information faster when it is communicated visually, and 58% remember it longer.
Therefore, it’s important for hotels and venues to present their property/destination on social media and online sourcing platforms with appealing photos, videos, interactive tours, and more.
Our emerging leaders use social media with a lot of photos. It is a completely different market, but that is how they access information (Destination Analysts).
Tips for How to Reach & Engage Millennial Planners
Moving your marketing and sales approach from the legacy model to today’s more digitally-focused model will help position your property and destination in front of a more targeted audience, with more opportunities to build awareness and engagement.
To reach millennial planners, your marketing needs to incorporate various digital tools, from the traditional email campaign to social media, video marketing, content marketing, programmatic, geofencing and, in today’s COVID-19 era, Zoom opportunities.
When establishing your marketing plan, develop strategies to reach this key audience across channels and mix up your media to ensure you’re incorporating multi-devices as well.
Another key attribute to incorporate is a mix of trade media offerings, utilizing a digital focus that integrates more traditional trade media options with newer digital and social offerings.
At Digital Edge, we like to utilize an always-on approach with our campaigns to ensure we reach planners daily across channels and devices. We run all of our digital media and social campaigns in-house with our team of meetings marketing experts and utilize trade media to reach specific audience segments. This helps us focus the media and reach our target audience more effectively.
We also train our clients’ sales teams on utilizing social media channels like LinkedIn to position their team as industry experts and play off the work we do as an agency on their behalf. This combination of the marketing and the sales approach creates a more integrated reach.
With 1 in 5 planners still working from home, no matter the age cohort you are trying to reach, your meetings marketing should be digitally-focused. This applies to all meeting planners and not just millennials in today’s COVID-19 world.
Take this time to develop new digitally-focused strategies to reach the world’s largest professional age group and engage millennials with your destination or hotel offerings.
Need some guidance along the way? We’ve got some savvy millennials on our team, and we’re just a message away.