Millennials Are Changing Meetings

By Kelly Parisi Solutions Development Manager, Spear One | September 06, 2015

A generation of 'immediate gratification' often comes to mind when considering the Millennial stereotype. Rapidly-changing needs and preferences. Consumed with technology and over-socialized content. Distrust of traditional media and advertising. Yet, the Millennial demographic should not be overlooked.

According to Forbes, Millennials represent over a quarter of the population in America and hold $200 billion in annual buying power. To date, about 55 million "Millennials" (16-34 year-olds) form the largest share of the U.S. civilian workforce – surpassing 53 million in "Generation X" (35-50 year-olds), 44 million "Baby Boomers" (51-70 year olds), and 5 million of the "traditionalist" generation. With these non-traditional innovators influencing the market, hotels are wondering how to evolve and cater to this new audience.

Millennials Are Important for Brands

Elite Daily, an online news platform with over 74 million monthly unique visitors, published "Millennial Consumer Study" in 2015, surveying 1,300 Millennials on various consumer-related topics. The study debunked a common myth, revealing that Millennials (60 percent of those surveyed) are actually very loyal to brands. If hotels ignore Millennials now as they are just starting to buy, it will be harder to capture their loyalty in the future.

How do you capture their attention? Understand their values and interests? Hotels must act fast to recognize these new buyers' needs and adapt accordingly. And while points, perks and brand consistency are nice, Millennials are asking hotels to reach beyond the traditional loyalty program.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.