Technology doesn’t always span generations. As an event organizer or host, you need to consider that not every attendee has the same affinity for new technologies, and you don’t want to assume that, say, an older audience will engage the same way as younger, more tech-savvy guests.
Says Andy McNeill, CEO & Principal at AMI, “Depending on your guest list, you could end up with attendees ranging from twenty-somethings to senior citizens. You want to utilize the latest technologies, but what if older audience members think tweeting is something birds do and streaming is a term to describe rays of sunshine? You need to make sure you have a plan to engage every generation represented at your event.”
How can you accomplish this goal? It’s starts by understanding what appeals to different generations and what they value. Here are a few tips to help you and your convention planner come up with winning strategies for properly utilizing tech.
Generation Y, more commonly referred to as millennials, is generally considered to be comprised of individuals born after 1980 (those born nearer the turn of the century are being called Generation Z). This was the first generation to really grow up with easy access to computer technology, and they’re the most likely to take to tech like fish to water, which means you and your convention planner will have to work hard to impress them with creative uses of the latest technologies.
Connecting through social media is a must, as is offering opportunities for social engagement and sharing throughout your event. You must make serious efforts to interact digitally before, during, and after your event if you want to hold the attention and earn the respect of millennials.
This generation missed the free love freight train, but hopped on board in time for the excess of the ‘80s and the tech boom of the ‘90s, including the first forays into computer gaming and internet usage, as well as vast iterations of mobile tech ranging from brick phones (not to be confused with bricked phones) to smartphones.
As a result, Gen Xers are fairly open to trying new technologies, even if they’re not terribly familiar with them coming in. Offering tutorials and demos could help increase inclusion with technologies millennials are already well-versed in. AI could be of particular interest to sci-fi loving Generation X, so you should talk to your event organizer about possible uses for AI.
Baby Boomers, born between the end of WWII and the mid-1960s, are not necessarily the most invested in technology, which can leave them out of the loop at tech-heavy modern events. As a host or convention planner, however, you can bridge the gap in a variety of ways, such as by hosting both face-to-face and digital presentations that provide guests with options for how to attend.
Many Baby Boomers are also concerned with health, wellness, and thriving well into their senior years. You can capitalize on this by finding ways to incorporate wearables like Fitbit, say through event-themed challenges. An experienced event organizer like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can help you create and implement strategies designed to include tech tailored to every generation at your event.