Marketing Your Event to the Millennial Generation

Nausheen Punjani
Nausheen Punjani
5 min read
1.8 Billion Millenials Worldwide

Millennials are a generation everyone wants to target as they are the largest and most diverse demographic in the U.S. There are 1.8 billion millennials worldwide. According to Eventbrite’s recent report, three out of four millennials value experiences such as concerts, festivals, sports, or parties over purchasing tangible products and they spend over $600 billion every year! In fact, 82% of millennials attend live events. As they enter parenthood, over 70% of millennial parents use social media to live stream during an event.

4 Generations Chart, From Baby Boomers To Generation Z

You might assume that millennials are reluctant to leave their technological devices in comparison to other generations but surprisingly, they enjoy unplugging more than other generations. In fact, millennials are the perfect balance between different generations because they like to stay connected and disconnected from technology. Although they quickly adapt to new technology, what really matters to millennials is staying connected with the world online or offline. Here are just a few tips to market to the millennial generation.

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Atlanta Jazz Festival

Music Festivals

Have a music element to your event. Reach by PWC estimates that by 2022, the live music industry will be worth more than $30 billion and nearly half of music festival fans are millennials. In fact, large music festivals such as Coachella, Lollapaloza, and Bonnaro also collect data on how much millennials spend and what they buy during events. Did you know, 82% of millennials have attended at least one live music event in a typical year in comparison to 53% of general music listeners (The Nielsen Company 2016)?

Make it Personal

Are you paying attention to their specific needs? If not, survey their likes and dislikes and keep an open line of communication. millennials love authenticity and experiences that are unique. They prefer real and organic marketing in comparison to traditional marketing messages. One example would be to allows users to submit compelling content and use that to promote your event.

75% of millennials also attend live events if it helps make more of an impact on the world. South by Southwest created a community page highlighting the role attendees by being a part of the event.

NC Pickle Festival — Pickle Donut
NC Pickle Festival — Pickle Donut

Generate Buzz

Get people talking about your event. Use different social media channels such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Medium, Reddit, Quora and so many others. Create buzz-worthy content and promote your events with unique hashtags to get more people interested in your event. For example, the North Carolina Pickle Festival created teaser content by sharing a picture of a pickle donut exclusively available during the festival. This generates buzz and users start to talk about it.

Start Blogging

Not only does blogging help to boost SEO and give your event more opportunities to rank in search engines, it is also a way to target millennials. Millennials spend more time researching online for things to do and if they learn about your upcoming event, you can prompt them to purchase tickets or sign up. For example, you can ask vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees to submit stories about them and their experience. That way, you will also have user-generated content to work with as you start blogging.

Bring Fido

Dog Lovers Days Lure Course
Dog Lovers Days Lure Course

A recent survey conducted by Zulily, over 35% of pets are owned by millennials. Millennials want their pets with them and many consider them as part of the family. Having a pet-friendly event or pet activities at your event will definitely attract a crowd.

Incentivize Technology

Technology can be a waste of time if you’re just adding fancy gadgets that serves little purpose. Millennials selectively choose new technology based on what provides value and convenience to their lives. As an example, if you’re working on a mobile app and it only provides a schedule or general information of the event, it might not be as exciting to download. Instead, provide an incentive such as discounted items, giveaways, or in-app rewards.


About 70% of millennials experience fear of missing out (FOMO) according to a new study by Eventbrite. Since millennials favor experience over material possessions, event organizers can make people feel like they’re missing out by not attending. One way would be to emphasize the scarcity by offering exclusive deals or limited tickets.

Atlanta Brunch Festival — Ticket Price Increase
Atlanta Brunch Festival — Ticket Price Increase

Have your attendees brag about attending your event by promoting unique hashtags, live streaming, and live tweet discussions. As people are posting, you could display it on a social wall at your event, thereby generating buzz during your event.

Live Twitter Feed

Retargeting Ads

Track visitors browsing through your event pages and send those folks targeted ads reminding them about your event. They’ve already seen your site and now you can nudge them to sign up for your event. If you’re interested in learning more about retargeting, here is a beginner’s guide to retargeting your audience by HubSpot:

These are just a few examples to target millennials but remember, it’s all about being creative. Millennials care about an interactive and memorable experience and if your event creates a memorable event, you’ll build loyal fans.