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How to Plan the Perfect Millennial Event

By Caroline Cox | 3 min read

Millennials are like fingerprints — no two are exactly alike. But when it comes to events, most millennial clients have certain elements they’re looking for, from Instagram-worthy decor (#nofilter) to trendy drink options (La Croix spritzers, anyone?). 

Below, with the help of wedding planning company Chancey Charm’s Sarah Chancey, we’re breaking down five things to keep in mind when throwing a millennial-centric soiree.

 

Take advantage of technology

While paper invitations are still very much the norm for big-time events like weddings, many smaller parties take on a more casual invite approach. “When you’re planning an event specifically for millennials, it’s okay to send an invite via email,” explains Chancey. “Technology is welcome and desired amongst millennials.” She adds that they also want to feel connected to the event through takeaways that go beyond a standard party favor, like a funny group photo. You can also “create a hashtag for the event and encourage attendees to share photos or tweets,” recommends Catersource. It’s also a good idea to create a geotag so people can tag themselves at your venue on social media, and don’t forget to share the password if you have protected WiFi.

 

Ensure plenty of interaction

Research shows millennials “want to interact with your event and the other people in it.” Common areas (particularly outdoors spaces like patios and rooftops) and high-top tables that are easier to move to and from will help facilitate plenty of social interaction, so guests aren’t just sitting and staring at their phones. Plus, Event Manager Blog reports that millennials “are much more likely to attend an event if they can do so with friends.” Meetings Imagined adds that having food stations instead of passed dishes that guests may have to wait on keeps everyone satisfied and promotes more interaction as well.

 

Source ideas from the inside

Have millennials on your serving staff or in your office? Ask them what they’d like to see at an event similar to the one you’re throwing. “Adding someone to your staff who is from this generation is an excellent way to increase your knowledge and perspective on this age group,” says EMB. “Having an inside source provides you with a chance to ask their opinion on certain event elements and perhaps gain some new ideas from a younger co-worker.” Something as simple as the right beer options or preferred Spotify stations could transform the guests’ experience.

 

Don’t forget about customization

“Most of our clients are millennials and very devoted to their wedding or event being absolutely unique to them,” Chancey explains. These events may stray from traditional event aspects to include details like interactive games or custom monograms on everything from the cake to the cocktail napkins. “They are very experience driven and conscious of their guests needs and enjoyment over the traditional fluff of an event,” she adds.

 

Keep social consciousness in mind

“We are seeing a lot of mobile interaction through social media apps, as well as events supporting a bigger cause, such as raising money for a local non-profit,” says Chancey when asked about trends she’s seen in planning millennial events. “Even our couples are asking for donations in lieu of wedding gifts.” Many cities have local organizations or nonprofits you could partner with for initiatives, like donating a percentage of the sales of a certain cocktail. When it comes to things you may want to avoid, she suggests “an event that seems like it was wasteful. Millennials like to believe that an event contributes to the greater good and is environmentally conscious.” EMB agrees, reporting, “The millennial generation has a strong sense of concern for social good and social impact.”

 

Now that you know what millennials look for in an event, see how Gather can take your private events to the next level.

This is an updated post that originally appeared on the Gather blog in June 2016.

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Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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