Millennials—the term is often said with disgust by the older generations. Even those who are only slightly older than the millennial generation often look down on these young people. However, with Millennials now firmly in the workforce, they can’t exactly be ignored. Because of how they approach life and work in a very different way, many employers, event organizers, and speakers are discovering that the younger generation isn’t as easy to engage as other groups. This is especially true at corporate events. If you’re trying to get Millennials more engaged, here are six different things you can do to change your corporate events to draw them in.
1. Make the Events Interactive
Millennials do not like to sit and be lectured to. They work much better in a team setting where they can actively collaborate with their co-workers to develop solutions that are more than just the sum of their individual parts. However, because older workers are used to retreating to their offices and doing work on their own, there’s often a disconnect between the two. By using a corporate event to bring these groups together through some form of interactive activity, the two groups can learn from each other. This can help the older employees see why Millennials like collaborating, and it can show the younger employees that those who have been in the workforce for years have much to offer.
The interactive event doesn’t have to be something serious, either. In fact, it’s often more successful if you have event attendees working in teams to create a work of art or to cook dessert. Anything that makes people work together can be a great corporate event activity.
2. Make your Event Casual
Millennials are not big on pomp and circumstance. They prefer to keep things fairly casual, even while at work. That’s why many startup businesses allow their employees to come to work in shorts or jeans or work in open spaces with comfortable furniture. Rather than work alone in an office, they want to casually chat while typing away on laptops or tablets.
Keep this in mind when planning your corporate event, even while planning small details. For example, Millennials will enjoy sitting at round tables where they can speak with everyone rather than in desks or at rectangular tables that isolate them from their colleagues and other attendees.
Keeping your event casual means no formal dress code and no strict rules. Let your attendees have snacks during panels, and hold the event somewhere comfortable, not in a stark, cold meeting room.
3. Make Your Event Worthy of Being Mentioned on Social Media
Millennials are all over their smartphones and tablets, so make sure your event is worthy of being mentioned on their social media pages. These young people share just about every aspect of their day: they upload photos of their food, make videos about their morning routines, and post status updates about their evening plans. Make your event something that will excite them and that they will want to share.
More than that, plan social media activities for your event. Create a hashtag for attendees to use when posting about it, and make an event on different social pages for them to join and share. You can also make use of a photo booth where attendees can take selfies at the event and upload them to social media.
Even soliciting famous after-dinner speakers to your event might prove to be a wise option, which could include both celebrities and famous personalities from different fields of work. Millennials love meeting celebrities and those they admire. Having celebrities on hand for photos is another opportunity to have your event plastered all over social media, especially if the celebrities mention it and use your hashtag.
4. Make Your Event Green
Millennials are on the edge of the green movement. Many of them try to limit their carbon footprints and make use of carbon offsets. They may be very interested in knowing how your company is going green and minimizing its impact on the environment. Is there a green angle you can add to your event? This doesn’t necessarily mean making the entire thing focused on the environment. However, there are a few little things you can do.
First, you can limit how much paper you use. Instead of making flyers to advertise the event, create an e-vite. Do as much online as you can, including registration. If you have time, you can even create an app for the event that includes a map, schedule, and other information so you don’t even have paper copies of things.
If you have any meals catered, make sure to have recycling bins on hand for plastic, paper, and glass. Even something as minor as having these bins in plain sight can show Millennials that you care about their concerns.
5. Play Games
Many people love playing games, Especially Millennials . Having some kind of game at your corporate event will help engage them, plus it’s another type of social activity that can bring people together. These games can range from something simple like cards or darts to video games or augmented reality games. You could even have a custom game created that involves what your company does. Some form of virtual scavenger hunt that engages attendees for the entire length of your event is also a great idea.
While Millennials may be your target goal here, you can be sure that many of the other attendees will also try out these games. If you make the game an app, there’s no need to deal with having physical game pieces or people waiting in line to play.
6. Make it Personal
Finally, Millennials are individuals, and they like to be thought of as such. For those attending a corporate event, ask them for their feedback. Talk to them individually if you can, and for those who you can’t, be sure they know how to send you their thoughts on the event.
Also, let your own employees show off their personality. If you have a booth at a trade show, for example, don’t expect them to all dress alike. You may ask that they all wear a company shirt, but let them accessories or personalize it in some way.