How Americans’ Crave for Experience Drives the Interactive Event Movement

Recently, Eventbrite published a study entitled “The Experience Movement” in which they explore the ways the millennial generation’s desire for experiences is shaping our culture. They found that 3 of 4 Millennials would rather spend money on experiences rather than things. But even beyond this oft-talked-about generation, 80% of Americans of all ages believe that live, in-person interaction is essential for positive change.

With data like this, it’s no surprise that interactive events are gaining more and more traction in our culture at large. From conventions and concerts to pop-up events of all sizes, we’re seeing huge growth in the events industry. But what exactly is driving this push toward live events? 

Millennials Value Experiences Over Things

Research shows that Americans, and in particular, 75% of Millennials, now prefer experiences over things. This means that instead of buying a designer bag, they’d rather spring for concert tickets. Instead of updating their wardrobe, they’d rather visit a new corner of the world. And instead of buying books or reading articles, they might choose to attend a talk or meetup to learn about new ideas.

Live Events Promote Positive Change

80% of Americans believe it’s essential for people to come together in-person to promote positive change — regardless of age, gender, income, or geography — and 1 in 5 Americans attended an event supporting a particular cause within the last year. This has changed the way we experience political, cultural, and environmental causes. 

Additionally, respondents to the study said that there are two main ingredients necessary to promote positive change in our country. First, we need to connect with one another face to face (rather than just online). Second, we need to allow these connections to expand our perspectives and broaden our understanding. This type of interpersonal connection is far more easily achieved through events than other traditional means of promoting a message.

Live Events Drive Human Connection 

A craving for human connection in this digital world is an increasing concern. And 4 out of 5 Millenials say that attending live events makes them feel more connected to other people, the community, and the world. With social media and the internet taking over larger and larger parts of our lives, sometimes it’s vital to get out in the world and experience things with a group of other people, no matter how large or small.

Live Events Are More Impactful 

While many events could just as easily be converted to digital experiences online, would that have the same effect? 75% of Millennials believe that participating in a live event is more impactful than taking action online. And 74% of Millenials believe that live events are more successful at expanding perspectives than merely reading about the same information online. If you want your message to reach this generation, it seems that digital experiences are no longer enough.

So What Does This Mean for Brands?

It’s no longer enough to create fun commercials for television and radio or internet ads that will grab people’s attention. Even social media and influencer campaigns may not be impactful enough for Millennials. 

This generation and many other Americans both crave and prioritize live, interactive events, as is clearly shown through this study. If brands want to create a memorable, impactful, perspective-changing experience for people, then they need to focus on building these types of live, interactive experiences for people. You need the sort of event experience that will get participants thinking about and talking about your brand for weeks to come. Something that feels less like marketing and more like pure fun or meaningful connection.

Tips on Creating a Memorable Interactive Event or Experience 

So how can your brand create this sort of event for guests? How can you connect with a generation that craves interaction, human connection, and meaningful experiences? 

First, create events that are fun and engaging, that show your brand’s strengths in a way that is both interactive and memorable. BMW’s Ultimate Driving Experience or SYFY’s Karaoke Bus at ComicCon are excellent examples.

Next, drive personal engagement and connection by setting appointments for visitors to have one-on-one interactions with event staff. GE Appliances and Nutanix have used this type of event to demo their most successful products and create personal connections with their consumers. 

No matter what type of event you create, be sure to prepare for a crowd. Nothing will kill the buzz of a fun interactive event like forcing people to stand in line for hours, waiting to take part. Instead, use a waitlist app like NextME to engage with guests as they wait, while giving them the freedom to do other things until their turn comes up. 

Check out our guide to engaging interactive event ideas for more information and tips. And be sure to give us a call to learn how our waitlist app can help keep your event running smoothly!