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Destination Experiences that Engage Millennials

April 13, 2017

Finding acceptable ways to deliver destination experiences for Millennials can be a bit of a challenge. Thanks in large part to the fact that this generation is purpose-driven rather than money-driven. So terms like lavish, high-end, or exclusive do not necessarily tap this group. While community giveback, green initiatives and sustainability certainly strike a chord with this generation.

How can you incorporate areas of interest that will attract and engage the Millennial mind at your destination experience? If you are planning to hold your next west coast meeting in Newport Beach, CA you’re in luck. Newport Beach has numerous eco-friendly resorts and activities along with green initiatives that appeal to the millennial mind. Here are four tips that can help you deliver a destination experience that will engage your millennial attendees.

Tips to creating destination experiences that engage Millennials

Tip #1: Events purposefulness should come first for meeting planners
One of the biggest issues facing meeting planners is just how to come up with a balance between corporate events and meaningful social missions that will engage Millennials. In order to deliver a destination experience that millennial attendees can get behind, meeting planners have to answer the question, ‘who-is-it-for’ in a very honest and fully transparent way. Otherwise, the destination meeting could appear to be fully self-serving with no regard to a social cause, which will do very little to engage Millennials.

An easy way to address this is with a pre or post meeting session that focuses on community giveback. For groups interested in ecological sustainability, Newport Beach has ongoing efforts to keep the destination’s natural estuary free of environmental debris. Erosion from surrounding bluffs and tree branches from coastal breezes can choke portions of the estuary and must be cleared regularly. Environmentalists rely heavily on community support, school programs and volunteers to help keep the estuary thriving. Companies can have a significant impact on the eco-system of Newport’s Upper Back Bay by incorporating this cause into their destination meeting. Groups can get involved either on land or by boat (man-powered), helping to clear branches and leaves opening the waterways for an abundance of species.

Tip #2: Ditch the tech, Millennials appreciate in-person interactions
One of the most common misconceptions about Millennials is that they are digital creatures preferring to interact mostly through cyber-space. The truth is that a good old-fashioned, in-person teambuilding activity has a surprising impact on this generation. What is the purpose of an event if people attending are going to make friends with their smart phones rather than other participants? The idea is to create an environment that fosters collaboration, but take it a step further with an eco-friendly teambuilding adventure.

With the largest recreational harbor in the U.S. and state protected land, Newport Beach has several environmentally friendly activities to choose from, including: Sailing, Outrigger races, Kayak obstacle course, Stand Up Paddleboard relays, and Newport Beach’s most popular activity, Duffy boat scavenger hunt through Newport Harbor.

Tip #3: Self-improvement opportunities are magnets for Millennials
Can your destination meeting provide a personal transformation experience? Oftentimes this can be as simple as adding a charitable component to your event, which in turn can lead individuals to self reflect, redefining or realigning with their goals. Events that incorporate a CSR component serve double duty. According to Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, “Shared value is not [just] social responsibility…but a new way to achieve economic success.” Companies that focus on activities or events with a socially responsible or sustainable slant appeal to the emotional connectivity within an organization, “elevating the sense of gratitude, pride, accomplishment and goodwill employees have towards their company, this holds especially true for the millennial generation.”

Newport Beach has found a creative way to add a charitable component while enjoying the best of the destination. The event consists of a scavenger hunt throughout Newport Harbor, which takes boats to several dock and dine restaurants where the group can enjoy a progressive style dinner, while picking up non-perishable food items. All boats arrive at a final restaurant where scavenger hunt winners are announced and the food items are packaged and presented to a local shelter.  The event addresses the desire to give back, while helping attendees to appreciate their positions and determine their overall objectives.

Tip #4: Tap into the millennial mind
If you are hoping to deliver an engaging destination meeting, try making your millennial attendees a part of the planning process. Regardless of which generation group you fall into, everyone wants to feel valued. Millennials are no different. Because they are so tech savvy, they have a tremendous wealth of knowledge just a swipe away. According to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan American think tank, 59% of Millennials use social media to find information on people and events, and as many as 88% of Millennials turn to Instagram and Facebook for their news. Testimonials speak volumes to this group.

Acknowledge the value they hold by making them a part of the planning process. Find out what experiences, activities or programs they’ve seen recommended via social channels. Ask what social causes they feel would get the group engaged and create the most opportunity for collaboration. Consider tapping into the millennial mind when it comes to detailing the objectives of the destination meeting at both the company and the personal level.

When your ready to engage Millennials think Newport Beach

Newport Beach, CA is a perfect fit for this generation. With green initiatives, an abundance of eco-friendly activities, along with a socially conscious community, Newport Beach speaks Millennial. When you’re ready to begin planning your next group meeting, turn to the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this coastal paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources that ease the planning process.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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