Creating Face-to-Face Experiences & Social Interactions
Despite the increasing numbers of older adults accessing the internet and having used computers during their careers, the great digital divide between older adults and younger people still exists, especially with direct selling audiences. In the world of direct selling, your events provide an opportunity for distributors of all ages to connect with others both older and younger IRL (in real life). What does this mean for event planners who rely heavily on social media, VR, AR, networking and gamification apps, and every digital app/platform in between? How do you connect with multiple ages ranging from the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers to Generation X, Generation Y, and Millennials? You have to be prepared to engage with members of each one with a combination of face-to-face experiences and online social interactions.
Providing Meaningful Multi-Generational Networking
Older attendees tend to value formal face-to-face interactions, whereas Millennials have forged a new path of social interaction that is more actual, instant and digital. At your next multi-generational networking event, try unifying your guests by coordinating a mentorship program in advance. Pair your seasoned attendees with those just breaking into the company/industry to encourage intermingling of groups who may have otherwise remained separate. Event planners know the origin of any great event begins with understanding direct selling audiences, what will engage them, excite and move them. As technology becomes more of a staple in our lives, this will continue to be a big challenge in the coming years, using the right technology in the right context for the right audience.
According to a recent DSA consumer attitudes study, "Changes in technology and modes of communication along with higher interest in less traditional job opportunities make the Millennial generation of great importance to direct selling companies."
Building Brand and Product Engagement Campaigns
It’s easy enough to make a visually-striking event campaign, but creating an event strategy that focuses on participation is an entirely new level. Participation is a driving force behind engagement that involves sharing multiple brand messages and stories. It’s also a great way to communicate to and interact with a wide age-range. It’s hard to come up with a message that will resonate with a 25 and 50-year-old but using participation—whether you’re targeting a single demographic or multiple demographics, can be the key to activating the level of engagement you need. An example of this in action … engage audience members during a traditional presentation by incorporating a gamification element, where attendees are asked to participate in live digital polls throughout the presentations.
"Individuals are building relationships through social media, using e-commerce sites to complete transactions, and sometimes functioning as mobile show rooms for emerging product lines," according to the DSA.
Bringing Your Audience Together with MIG
As the event industry continues to go digital, don’t forget about those less tech-savvy segments of your direct selling audiences. When introducing new technology, be sure to have printed programs for those who are not ready to take the plunge. However, don’t underestimate your older attendees’ desire to embrace new technologies. Create opportunities for all audience members to learn by incorporating clear instructions for your mobile app in your marketing materials leading up to and during the event.
Decoding generational differences is no simple task and continues to be a challenge for those in the direct selling event industry. When planning your next direct selling event, embrace the varying perspectives of your generation segments to create an experience that will engage all of your attendees. Multi Image Group (MIG) provides all of the event production strategy that you need for your next direct selling event. Take a look at some of our client work below.