Brands know that they have create a memorable experience in order to connect with Millennials and build brand loyalty. In fact, this is why many brands turn to experiential marketing events. But, instead of planning an experiential marketing event simply because you know Millennials enjoy experiences, it’s important to find out why they respond so well to this marketing tactic.

Earlier this year, Adweek published research conducted by Splash that dug deep into why Millennials are so drawn to experiential marketing events. Here’s a look at what they identified as the top reasons why Millennials attend these events:

The Schedule of Events

Nearly two-thirds of Millennials said they attended a brand-sponsored event because the entertainment that was being provided was appealing. In addition, 49% of Millennials said one of the reasons they attend these events is because it’s something fun to do when they’re free. Millennials may be drawn to a musical act that is performing at an event, or a speaker who is a well-known influencer in the industry. The fact that so many Millennials indicated that this is one of the main reasons why these attend events proves that this generation is eager to be entertained, experience new things, and create lasting memories.

Networking Opportunities

Next on the list is networking opportunities, which is one of the reasons why 56% of Millennials attend experiential marketing events. Although the term “networking” is often used in a professional setting, in this case Millennials are not necessarily looking to meet people who help them with their careers. Millennials who attend experiential marketing events to network are interested in meeting new friends who share the same interests.

Free Stuff

Everyone loves free stuff—apparently, even Millennials. According to this research, 53% of Millennials go to experiential marketing events sponsored by brands in order to get their hands on giveaways. Offering free food and alcohol is a great way to get Millennials’ attention—especially if you are serving food from popular food trucks and craft beers brewed locally.

The free food and alcohol might get Millennials in the door, but the free swag is what keeps them happy throughout the event. Nineteen percent of Millennials said the coolest thing a brand has ever done at an experiential marketing event is give away free swag items. Millennials who participated in this study were asked to list the best swag items they’ve ever received at a brand-sponsored experiential marketing event. The most common responses are surprisingly traditional. Reusable water bottles are at the top of the list, followed by t-shirts, hats, bags, and glasses. These are all fairly standard swag items, so you may want to consider setting yourself apart from other brands by offering something more unconventional.

Connection to the Brand

Forty-seven percent of Millennials admitted to attending an experiential marketing event simply because they loved the brand that was hosting it. This is great news for marketers—it means Millennials often feel such a deep connection to a brand that they are willing to attend an event solely because the brand’s name is attached to it.

Make sure you market to these customers so your most loyal followers are at the event to show their support. Promote the event on all of your social media channels and send an e-mail with information about the event, too. Loyal Millennial customers will most likely be following you on social media or subscribed to your e-mail list, so these are great ways to reach them.

Recognition For Attending

Millennials who participated in this study were asked if they expected some type of recognition from the brand if they attended two or more of the brand’s experiential marketing events. Sixty-four percent of Millennials said the thought had never crossed their minds before, but they would appreciate some kind of recognition. Another 29% said that they did expect recognition, and only 7% said they did not.

Even though this is not something the majority of Millennials think about, it’s clear that they would welcome some kind of incentive for their loyalty to the brand. If you are planning multiple events, you may want to consider how you can track guests’ attendance so you can make sure to recognize loyal Millennials that are coming to more than one of your events. Repeat attendees can be offered something as small as a discount on their next purchase or a personalized swag item to let them know that you appreciate them taking the time to come to your events.

Social Media Bragging Rights

Just under a quarter of Millennials admitted that they tend to go to brand-sponsored experiential marketing events because they want social media bragging rights. These Millennials will show up at the event, take photos and videos, and then post them to all of their followers. For this reason, it’s a good idea to market to these social media savvy Millennials so you can take advantage of the free promotion.

In order to get this group of Millennials to come, the event has to be interesting enough to make them think that they can brag about it if they go. Think about what you can do to grab their attention, whether it is partnering with a popular influencer, giving away high-value items, or launching an exclusive new product.

Do you want Millennials to attend your next event? If so, it’s important to plan with this key demographic in mind. Let our experiential marketing experts devise a unique strategy to attract Millennials to your event. We will incorporate the findings from this study—and our own research on this generation—to plan the perfect event for Millennials. Contact Factory 360 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs.

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