Aside from popularising avocado on toast, millennials have made a substantial change to the modern world. And this includes the event industry. Generation Z, following by example, are making waves of their own. They are set to be the most disruptive generation yet.
By 2030, most of Generation Z will be in their 20s and 30s, and by 2025, Millenials and Gen z will make up 75% of the UK workforce (pro-manchester). At present, the oldest Gen Zers are 22 years old, recent university graduates and are new to the workforce.
Few Generation Z members hold senior-level planning positions, but it is likely that you will be working on some level with them. Though they may have entry-level jobs, they are still charged with finding, evaluating and booking spaces for events.
Trends, working habits and values change from generation to generation. That means so must your marketing, sales and operational tactics. So, to engage and delight generation Z event planners, you need to know:
- The things they value
- Which channels they use
- How they communicate
- How they work
Someday, Generation Z members will be the decision-makers. So, here are some key characteristics you need to be aware of if you want to make an impression:
They’re fresh out of university
Generation Z event planners are new to the world of work. They might not have as much experience as their predecessors, millennials, and will most likely have little work experience.
It’s essential not to take anything for granted when it comes to this generation, given that they are likely less savvy than their older counterparts.
According to the 2019 Global Cvent Planner Sourcing Report, 12% of event planners are Generation Z. While this seems like a small amount, it’s crucial to get a head start so that by the time the percentage grows you understand them.
Knowing how best to work with each generation and demographic will pay big dividends in the long-term.
They value honesty and transparency
Gen Z planners grew up in a time of social media, data scandals and ad blockers. Most planners belonging to this group are less trusting. They appreciate openness and honesty when communicating with hoteliers.
So, how do you build their confidence when working with you? Instead of applying the same size fits all approach, show the planner that you care about their individual needs and preferences by building great relationships.
Above all, it’s paramount that you look over RFPs thoroughly. These planners want to know that you read their RFPs and pay attention to details.
They expect good technology
Given that most of Generation Z won’t be able to recall a time before the internet, this group are comfortable with technology. They know how to work it and agree that when used in the workplace, it can ease their workload.
Hoteliers should think of ways to streamline their collaboration with planners, whether that’s with room block technology, simplifying seating arrangements or using onsite technology to optimise the event experience for their guests. Find out more about different types of tech for MICE businesses here.
Generation Z want to “do good”
Generation Z event planners want to work with companies looking to more sustainable and ethical practices.
According to Louise Marshall, infrastructure and shared services director at Brother UK, “Gen Z-ers expect more […] when it comes to responsible business operation. Businesses need to have a clear sustainable and environmental strategy” (Telegraph).
Hoteliers need to look for sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches — technology such as on-demand name badge printing to reduce paper-waste is an excellent way to do this.
The more sustainable you can present your hotel or venue, the more likely a Gen Z event planner is to gravitate towards your business.
They want stability and security
Research has shown that Generation Z does not like risk or change. They want stability and security. Having grown up during the 2008 “credit crunch”, they know all too well the struggles their parents faced with job loss.
Tanya Michelsen, associate director of YouthSight, a U.K.-based brand manager that conducts ongoing research of British youth, says: “Generation Z are looking for more certainty and stability … They have trouble seeing a financial future, and they are quite risk-averse.”
Hoteliers need to be able to showcase case studies, secure data and examples to help them make decisions.
Win the trust of Generation Z event planners, and you will be more likely to get repeat bookings and become a go-to venue in the future.