Trade Show Marketing To Millennials

March 25, 2015

Trade show marketing has transformed leaps and bounds over the years. However, tailoring event marketing initiatives towards millennials still lags behind the forward-moving event industry. The reason why can be attributed to the assumption that millennials are solely ravenous consumers of digital media, that they forsake all other mediums in favor of glossy screens, instant updates and ever evolving devices. But, as it turns out this — like most broad assumptions — is less than accurate.

Recent research conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has shed an interesting light on why millennials are fast becoming the most profitable demographic at face-to-face marketing events. According to CEIRS research 98% of millennial trade show attendees were able to identify multiple high-value takeaways from their event experience. This means that an organization that targets younger attendees is likely to have a strong impact on them. Millennials also have incredible buying power with 86% of them attending industry events for the opportunity to make purchases on behalf of their respective organizations. Below, we offer some tips on how to captivate the interest of young event attendees:


It seems pretty obvious that in order to connect with any demographic you need to engage them. But, you need to engage your demographic in the way that they feel most comfortable. Millennials want to have a more hands-on experience when they visit a booth with 80% of them wanting to interact with a product, 84% with the booth staff and 87% feel engaged with booth giveaways. Millennials are cynical and extremely adept at spotting phonies, so make sure you have an authentic approach when engaging them. Tell your brands story and the vision behind your product/service and you will have a strong lasting impact on them.

Mobile and Social

While millennials crave marketing and connection beyond the digital-sphere, one would be remiss in their event marketing efforts if they did not use technology to their advantage. Using event related hashtags on twitter, posting frequently on social media channels about your exhibit, and having technology friendly giveaways at your booth are all ways to pique the interest of the tech-savvy young attendee. You should also provide millennial attendees with links to your digital marketing collateral that they can review once they have left the trade show floor because they are more likely to visit a website than read your brochures or handouts.

Environmental Impact

Millennials, far more than generations prior, are concerned with the well-being of our planet. Growing up in the era of climate change, oil spills and countless environmental tragedies has awakened the green sensibilities of many. When creating your trade show booth make sustainability a priority. If your organizations is doing great work reducing its environmental impact make sure that your marketing collateral is reflective of that.


Blogs, landing pages, and product reviews are the new ways that millennial are researching and finding the products they are in the market for. Before your event you should make sure that you have populated your digital spaces with content on your brand that tie to the event that you will be attending. You can create an event specific landing page dedicated to your event. Your social media pages should also have reminders about your organization attending your event and if you have a blog, keep posting updates on your upcoming events.

By making a conscious effort to reach out to the millennial generation you are proving to them that their input and concerns are being taken into consideration. And, like all generations before them millennials number one desire is to have their voices heard and their contributions respected.