Event Marketers: The Experience of Attending Live Events is Changing. Are You Changing Too?
The excitement and thrill of attending a live event certainly isn’t a new concept. The earliest amphitheaters were those of ancient Rome, built in the 1st century BC. However, trends change. Where once the masses converged to watch chariot races, now audiences congregate to sing along with Taylor Swift. Over the course of more than two thousand years, it’s natural that the subject matter would have changed so dramatically, but until recently, the experience of attending an event hadn’t actually altered all that much.
Enter the internet and the new “social age” of connectivity. Everything is changing.
Much like in olden days, people still have performers or teams that they seek out, root for, and celebrate. Where once it may have been a gladiator, now it might be a favorite baseball team, but it’s the way that people now source their events and tickets that’s changing so dramatically.
Millennials and the “New” Consumer
The millennials, defined as people born between 1977 and 2000, make up 25-33% of the US population, are really shaking up the industry. Brands need to understand millennials and work to create an experience with them rather than just trying to sell to them. It’s a shift that’s completely reshaping the event and ticketing industry.
There are evolving implications as to how the behavior of this large segment of the consumer population is transforming the experience of live events, both before the event takes place, during the event itself, and also after attending the event.
How do Millennials Choose?
The way that people shop around for events has created a new, more competitive world in the ticket market. When choosing what event to attend, it’s not only about “who’s playing”. Millennials want to check the ‘buzz’ and will read reviews, articles, blog posts, related hashtags on Twitter and other platforms to gauge public opinion.
This demographic equates value with experience. They are invested in shopping around to compare prices to get the best value for the experience. They are less loyal to individual brands and ticket sources and are more driven by price and value comparison. To establish loyalty, marketers need to continue to offer the most proven value to their customers.
How do Millennials Experience?
These days, attending an event and enjoying it in the moment isn’t enough. Technology is changing the way that people experience live events. Social media tools and apps are being used to heighten and amplify those live moments in new ways. From selfies on Instagram, to live tweeting, to the new Periscope live video streaming app, millennials exalt in sharing the experience as it unfolds. After the event, that experience is further augmented by additional social media status updates, blogging, and online reviewing.
Live events create experiences that shape some of our fondest memories. The new evolution of consumers want to capture and amplify those experiences. Recognizing that this new behavior has and is continuing to change the industry is an important shift that event marketers need to recognize. The influence of millennials is reshaping the overall consumer market into a new type of audience. Successful event marketers are investigating ways to adapt alongside these new audiences. What new marketing channels work, and what old techniques should be set aside? Have you witnessed any new, clever marketing ideas that are incorporating the changes in the industry?