Convention and visitors bureaus don’t have to create a specific marketing plan to attract attention and business from the growing sector of millennial-generation meeting planners, a new report from Marketing Challenges International advises.
“Instead of creating a marketing plan targeted specifically to Generation Y, convention bureaus should adopt a ‘millennial mindset’ and adapt their marketing tactics to this digital era,” says the report, titled Destination Marketing: The New Wave.
Millennials — defined generally as people in their 20s and early 30s — aren’t so different from their predecessors in what they want from destination marketers, the report says.
“They’re tech-savvy, they’re interested in playing a more strategic role in their companies, and they prefer a conversation over a sales pitch. But while these characteristics are certainly true, is it helpful, or even accurate, to suggest these characteristics are only true of millennials?”
The report offered three tactics CVBs can use to think like millennials while meeting the needs of all planners:
1. Rethink your digital presence.
This is particularly true with websites, which should include an interactive portal that’s adapted to today’s mobile work life. Use responsive design and easy-to-navigate page design, which ensure that your website will look and function correctly on any screen size from smartphone to desktop computer.
Include integrated venue tools that allow planners to customize venue lists that they can save and view in various formats or export to a spreadsheet.
2. Provide social media and digital tools to help planners create engagement with their attendees.
Social concierge services, interactive travel planning tools and custom event microsites give all planners resources they can use to customize and promote their events to their attendees — millennials, Generation X, boomers and even the Silent Generation.
3. Use digital media to help foster trust with planners by becoming an invaluable resource for information, tips, and connections.
Instead of just promoting your own destination, send content that relates to planners’ business objectives and focus on building long-term relationships with planners, even if they don’t pick your city for their next event. Use tactics such as these:
- Provide meetings-industry content in blogs, email newsletters, social media and print communications that focus on tech trends, social media, productivity and more.
- Use relationships with local government and business leaders, colleges and universities and major industries to show planners how you can give them access to potential speakers and support.
- Publish your content on LinkedIn’s public Pulse and Slideshare platforms to build credibility and connections with planners.
To download your own copy of the report, go HERE.