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Millennial Mindfulness: Embracing a New Generation of Donors and Attendees

We all know how vital adaptability has been in event planning in recent years. The ability to shift gears and plan for non-traditional and virtual events has been the saving grace for most organizations and has led many to thrive despite challenging conditions. But have you considered how the new generation of event attendees and donors moves very differently than previous generations and what that means for your organization? Let’s look at some of the changes you should consider implementing to welcome Millennials and Generation Z donors and attendees. 

Food and Beverage 

One of the defining characteristics of modern generations is a consciousness about health – especially relative to food. Millennials are much more likely than prior generations to have dietary restrictions, including veganism, gluten-free, and whole food preferences that should be considered when planning events. 

They also can be hyper-aware of sustainability and environmental impact, so local and sustainably grown products are appealing to them. Providing variety in menu options and details on where and how food products are grown and sourced is a big way to demonstrate that you get them. But don’t overthink it; this doesn’t mean you must have all organic vegetarian options only. It could mean serving a variety of sustainable, locally grown options, along with some fun and creative options. For example, a BBQ truck offering vegan options like our friends over at Money Muscle BBQ or a selection of upscale confectionery items available on the So-So Sweets truck. Or, providing a list of independent coffee shops or niche retail stores by category for off-site downtime. 

The one unifying characteristic for most generations is a love of caffeinated beverages! If you’re planning a conference, we recommend having caffeinated beverages available from early morning until mid-afternoon. Caffeinated coffee, sodas, and seltzers are great. And don’t forget the dairy-free creamer (almond, soy, or oat milk are some options). 

Millennial Mindfulness 

No generation is more attuned to inclusivity than Millennials. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep inclusivity at the forefront when communicating and interacting with them. This could entail:

  • Providing gender-neutral restrooms, private areas for nursing mothers, or accessible entrances to accommodate those who may need them
  • Using inclusive language in emails and VOG announcements or asking for pronoun preferences
  • Showing a range of ethnicities and gender representations in your marketing materials

The effort will not go unnoticed and could be the element that makes the biggest impact on your attendees and donors.

Other potential considerations targeted specifically for millennials include:

  • Rideshare vs. Valet – Consider offering an Uber or Lyft promo code for attendees to travel to and from the event. This ensures guests have a safe method of getting home after a late-night function.
  • Downtime – For a multi-day conference, perhaps incorporate breaks throughout the day so attendees can check their email/social accounts, go for a walk, network, or decompress. This can result in better engagement during the event and leave attendees more relaxed overall.
  • Marketability – Younger generations love to share where they are and what efforts they are supporting. Having an official event hashtag will allow event attendees to track posts from other attendees and enable event management to learn what attendees are saying about the event. 

Go Digital!

If you’re still using paper to offer discounts, share marketing/donor information, or event materials, look for ways to go digital and encourage attendees and donors to utilize digital options. Some examples of doing this include:

  • QR Codes can reduce paper waste tremendously. Use these to turn documents digital
  • Event Apps can provide essential meeting information at your attendees’ fingertips and they’re a great way for attendees to communicate with one another. 
  • Insta-worthy events are a must! Be sure to provide attendees with your organization, and social media handles and include story-worthy décor for a quick snapshot of the event (of course using the event’s official hashtag!)

One Final Thought

Whether it’s a conference, reception, or fundraising gala there will always be a guest who needs a quick charge on their cell phone. Make a good impression by having a branded charging station or two that can double as a networking space.

While it may seem intimidating to keep these details at the forefront even before the planning gets underway, it doesn’t have to be. Regardless of your audience, adapting your event to stay on trend is essential and it’s our expertise at TaylorMade Experience. Let us create an event that will appeal to a new generation of eventgoers and donors and make a memorable impression on all.

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60

Years Combined Experience

10

In-Kind Donations Procured

50

Sponsorship & Fundraising Calls Over Last 12 Years

500

Corporations Researched for Fundraising Opportunities