Capture & Engage Gen Y/Millennial Meeting Goers with Technology

March 26, 2016

For trade show and conference planners looking to capture and engage more Generation Y/Millennial attendees, accommodating their technology needs to be a top priority. These digital natives rely on their mobile devices for much of their communication, information sharing, socializing and networking. When they attend an event, the expectations are that technology will be a major part of the event starting from their initial correspondence till their last. This could be either a challenge or an opportunity for event planners depending upon how you view it.

Challenges ….

Yes, there must be adequate, fast and reliable Wi-Fi to accommodate this generation’s multiple devices (i.e., many Millennials carry two to three devices at a time). Additionally, when registering Millennials, slow, tedious manual processes won’t do. Sophisticated touch-screen registration and check-in software are essential for registration and attendee badge production. Additionally, don’t expect Millennials to flip through printed exhibitor/show guides. They will expect either an app or an interactive video display to provide exhibitor information, program schedule, breakout sessions, and other information about local weather, sights, restaurants and travel.

Opportunities …

The good news though is that the integration of technology is a true win for the event planner, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees alike.

·         Advanced Registration Systems enable event planners to capture data for attendee tracking and future event marketing.

·         Digital Document Libraries, not only help planners deliver and manage information securely, but they also allow them to demonstrate their “go-green” efforts and score extra points with this environmentally-conscious generation.

·         Digital Signage offers planners a way to better engage Millennials, while doubling as another revenue generator by giving sponsors and exhibitors a high visibility platform for sending their marketing messages.

·         Charging Stations give Millennials a convenient way to charge their mobile devices, and event planners another platform for branding their event and generating more advertising revenues from sponsors and exhibitors.

·         Audience Response Systems facilitate audience polling regarding different aspects of an event, at the same time providing planners, sponsors and exhibitors with timely input regarding how attendees, including Millennials, are reacting to their seminars, displays, networking events, etc. The information gained can then be used to make “on-the-fly” changes and/or applied to make future activities more effective.

·         Beacon Technology can allow for event check-in, navigation, gamification, networking and many other applications.

So, as you can see, technology offers you a way to connect and engage with the Gen Y/Millennial Meeting audience, roughly age 34 and under,  who are so dependent on their smart devices (Smartphones, tablets & other wearables). If you do not grab the Millennial at the first touch point, you may have lost them for your event.  

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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact