A true generation of digital natives, the members of Generation Z are more money-conscious, cautious, pragmatic and globally-minded than the generations who’ve come before. And as a group, their expectations require expertise to meet and surpass. Here’s some areas to focus on to make sure you’re keeping Gen Z happy and – much to their delight – on their toes.
It’s all about authenticity and experience
Of key importance to Gen Z is authenticity. As the generation who grew up with peer-review sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook, they’re more likely to trust peer voices over advertising (making influencers and nano-influencers with between 2,000-10,000 followers of particular importance). They’re happiest to interact with organizations and brands that demonstrate similar values, and take those who don’t meet these values to task – or “cancel” them altogether.
When it comes to meetings, Generation Z is also looking for memorable and transformative experiences over the old ways of doing business. Take inspiration from groundbreaking events like the C2 Montréal business conference to give your Gen Z attendees something to keep them chatting, from hands-on activities to unforgettable virtual experiences. And even when it comes down to accommodation, search out unique boutique stays like the newly-opened Hôtel Uville, based on the design savvy of Montréal’s iconic Expo 67 and 1976 Olympics, complete with record players in every room.
You gotta give back
Given Gen Z’s pragmatism and global-minded concerns, it’s becoming necessary for meetings to add a sense of meaningfulness and payback to the community and environment. Members of Gen Z care intensely about the use of innovative venues like the award-winning Palais des congrès de Montréal conference centre, a leading participant in the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Interactivity is key
Living more and more of their lives digitally (up to 10 hours a day online, three of which are primarily on messaging apps), Gen Z’ers also require true interactivity and on-demand communication. With well thought-out apps and mobile-friendly websites, along with live messaging service to answer questions, you’ll keep them satisfied and feeling tied in to the event before, during and after.
Generation Z will also do much of your audience interactions for you, via social media posting and group interactions developed on-site. By providing them with fitting hashtags and upload-worthy experiences, you’ll experience a meeting that’s both a hit in-person and online.
The 6 C’s
When working with Gen Z, a handy guideline of “the 5 C’s” (updated here with meetings in mind to 6), has proven helpful both to employers and planners. By compiling a short check-list both in your preparations and at the event iself, you’ll find the more Cs, the happier the Zs.
- Conversation: Gen Z carry an important voice that needs to be heard. By welcoming them into the conversation at all stages of your event, you’ll not only make sure to meet their expectations, but keep them coming back. Ask for ideas and feedback both before and after, and keep them engaged every step of the way.
- Calculation: Gen Z appreciate having their opinions heard, but also their feedback on how to meet their expectations. Be open to receiving their suggestions. You can also extend this experience on-site with problem-solving activities that require calculation and expertise.
- Collaboration: For members of Gen Z, collaboration is key. By working with them on how your event works – and then providing the opportunity for further collaboration with fellow attendees and new connections on-site – you’ll leave them feeling both satisfied and vital.
- Communication: With smart phones in their hands and online platforms composing a primary method of communication, Gen Z requires and demands a steady flow of information and contact. Make sure your organization is ready and prepared both in-person and online to keep the lines open.
- Customization: By giving Gen Z attendees the chance to customize and co-create their experiences of your events – for example, through meetups organized via an event app on the fly – you’ll guarantee a fuller experience that makes a bigger impact.
- Cognizance: Gen Z appreciates real-time results, and when it comes to meetings, the sense of seeing themselves reflected in the event can be truly transformative. Through a focus on the above tips and suggestions, your Gen Z attendees will leave feeling on top of the world.