Monday, June 25, 2018

Winning a Millennial Over in The Event Industry

As a millennial, I grew up with technology right at my fingertips. I had the latest gaming systems when I was little, then came middle school where I was always eager to tell people what I was doing on the weekend by updating my Facebook status or even better, the ridiculous pictures my friends and I would post. So many kids had a cell phone at that age, and typically we would text, make and receive calls. Anyways, by having access to technology at such a young age, it made us millennials capable of growing into tech-savvy individuals, having a more convenient way to be more in the loop, more access to learn and be more modernized as well as dealing with new advancements that come so quickly in just about every field. Writing from a millennial perspective, the event planning industry is changing due to future generations skyrocketing and becoming more up to date on what us millennials want from an event.

I am a student at The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh majoring in public relations, hoping to get into the event planning side of this field. Currently, I am interning for the company FIRE Light Group, and so far I have helped with putting contracts together for venues and clients, planning group travel incentives such as finding locations for companies to visit and hold conferences, and I even got to attend a networking event at an exclusive screening of a documentary!

In event planning, I think it is important to have great multitasking skills and even get distracted by social media. If you didn’t already know, millennials are huge social media fans. Too many people see the distraction of social media as a negative trait, however, staying connected and updating people on things you are working on is a great way to get your name out there. I also want to be updated on new ideas for creating a perfect event as well as getting input on what worked at an event and what didn’t. This is important for the future of event planning, gaining these connections will gain you business and using social media is great for measuring data on what made a lasting impression and what impacts the attendees got from attending an event you created. I get distracted easily as you can tell I am jumping from one thing to the next, but distractions are good in event planning. If I am working on one thing for to long, I am going to want to work on something new because I will get bored of it. It is important to work on multiple tasks at once so you can get things done for an event and millennials love overloading themselves with work. In this industry you will get phone calls on the daily with situations that have to be fixed, the list can go on and on, but things happen unexpectedly and you have to be prepared to drop what you are doing and deal with it.

For people that know me, staying connected with people has always been my downfall, I hate phone calls or even texting but when it comes to business, I think it is something I really need to work on. I won’t gain anything from not reaching out to people and figuring out when the catering company is coming or if we can fit everyone into one room. When I was looking for a summer internship, I wasn’t getting any responses to emails and applications I had sent out, so then I had an idea of looking in Madison even though I have never lived here before. So I reached out to local companies that were in the event planning industry and FIRE Light Group was just a perfect fit for me to gain experience with events and learning the steps of making events work. If I wouldn’t have reached out to them, I would not be gaining any experience for my future and millennials adore hands on experience.

Which brings me to my next point, we have a desire for creating new ideas on our own but we also love to collaborate. I have a passion for both of these, I want to gain input from others but love creating refreshing ideas. Along with this, millennials love short and interactive, so if any event can incorporate these things, we are there. For the future of event planning I see events being cut short and more engaging for the audience of my generation. Millennials are interactive learners and appreciate getting out of the office or classroom and explore through internships, field trips and being in the environment.

Another random idea that we love (or maybe just me and other environmental freaks) is sustainability and giving back to a cause. The world has been changing environmentally and will continue to change but if we use our resources in a smart way millennials and the future can work to improve that by being sustainable. We value the idea of smart buildings, so if we can incorporate that into our venue of choice that is awesome. Catering is huge in event planning, everyone loves food and usually there is food at events, and there are many companies that have sustainable food and products that try to reduce the damage on the environment. Designing an eco-conscious event can impact the environment in a positive way and millennials are for it. I also mentioned giving back to a cause, people in general adore this idea. When it comes to non-profit events or charity events, we love having a good meaningful experience and then you gain a potential partnerships with these companies that are hosting the event. Which will lead to donations and giving back to the cause you are supporting, I see more of these kind of events in the future.

I really think millennials are changing the game for event planning. This list could go on and on with everything that millennials could do in the future, and I know some of you are thinking “why should I care about event planning?” well, if you think about it, we save you time, we make things happen that you potentially couldn’t do on your own as well as making sure your event runs smoothly and how you want it to!


-Amanda Prusak

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