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Is Your Trade Show Exhibit Ready For The Millennials?

tradeshow marketing to millennialsMillennials are the next generation of consumers and, without a doubt, they have very unique view of themselves and the world around them. Millennials have a positive perception of their genereation, describing themselves as “tech-savvy, young, cool, hip and innovative,” while Non-Millennials perceive the generation as “lazy, young, spoiled, entitled and tech-savvy.”

Millennials’ Characteristics

In order to market to and connect with this group of people, one must understand their perception of themselves.  Millennials are characterized by feelings such as:

“I want it fast, and I want it now.”

“I trust my friends more than ‘corporate mouthpieces.'”

“I’m a social creature – both online and offline.”

“I can make the world a better place.”

Connecting With Millennials Through Technology 

Technology is the language and the fashion of this generation.  Extremely savvy and constantly wired, this generation could be the most educated in American history (according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center).  Being “digital natives,” they are on a path of constant learning, upgrading and sharing.  In her book, Chasing Youth Culture And Getting It Right, Tina Wells discusses how crucial technology is in their lives.  “If you want to engage with Millennials, you must understand the role technology plays in their lives.  When we get scared of it as marketers, we tend to disconnect with our consumers. Technology doesn’t kill magazines or newspapers or music.  What hurts these media is when we decide to stop innovating.  Content is king, and always will be.  Create an engaging experience with content, no matter what the platform, and consumers will engage.”

Trade Shows For The Next Generation

Trade shows are ideal environments for face-to face marketing and an opportunity to experience your brand in a very unique way.  As Tina Wells points out, communal consumption and existential experience is huge for this generation.  As trade show mavericks what does this mean?  Create a designer trade show booth that is equipped with wi-fi, internet, ipad and the likes.  You do want them to be tweeting and uploading content from your exhibit space about your exhibiting brand. As a marketer you want your stories to go viral.  Arm your millennial visitors with easy user interface to do so.  To them it is all about speed and ease of use.

When it comes to existential experienceit is very pivotal for the millennials to have “once in a lifetime experiences.”  This could be from a simple “coffee experience” to life-changing service experiences in places like Africa.  Measure for yourself how this adds up to your exhibit design. Your trade show exhibit is the home for your brand experience. Design a space to skillfully reflect the nuances of your brand’s reputation, memory and product.  Provide for a space that intelligently interacts with the 5 senses.  Think about smell, sound, touch, lighting, the presentation of products, and everything else that goes into delivering a memorable brand experience.  Your exhibit design is the one touch point that your audience actually gets to experience.  Give them an experience of a lifetime, one that they can’t wait to share with their friends.

Evolving Role of Exhibit Marketers: free white paperTrade show marketing will continue to evolve and move forward.  Stay on top of the changes by reading The Evolving Role Of Exhibit Marketers.  To receive your free white paper explaining the challenges and opportunities presented to you and your peers , click here

About the Author

Sarmistha Tarafder is the Creative Director and Choice Architect for Skyline Northern California trade show exhibits. She is the co-creator of brands in 3D spaces.

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