Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 03 2016

How One East Coast Destination Is Connecting With Millennial Meeting Planners And Attendees

Jeanna Hofmeister
The marketing team at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina has a refreshingly simple philosophy when it comes to targeting the emerging generation of meeting planners: less is more. Why is this convention facility focused on connecting with the youngest members of the convention industry? Because by 2020, Millennials will comprise more than one in three adults. And by 2025, they will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce. With those statistics looming in the not-too-distant future, reaching Millennial decision-makers is a crucial piece of attracting business.

We caught up with Tiffany Andrews, Sales and Marketing Administrator at Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and Brian Monroe, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Center, to hear their perspectives on crafting a message that resonates with Millennials. 

Building On The Buzzfeed Model

“We recognize we’re fighting for their attention in a crowded marketplace,” Andrews says. “So our goal is to create brief, Buzzfeed-style content and to highlight ways of giving back to society. Our goal is to peak their interest enough to such an extent that they’ll click the link that leads to more substance. It’s all about authentic content that’s relevant to that specific audience.”

Seeing Through The Customers’ Eyes

“We created a video tailored to answer the questions that most planners would seek in securing a convention location,” Andrews says. “Oddly enough, we didn’t give it a clever title, simply calling it What Meeting Planners Want. That content was pushed on YouTube and placed on our website RFP pages. The sales team used that video in tradeshow booths and during one-on-one appointments. We quickly identified that the sweet spot for consuming our content was linked to shorter videos (no more than 2 minutes), fast paced images, vital facts, and upbeat music.”

From there, the convention center team quickly transitioned their marketing efforts to focus on time lapse videos, which instantly out-performed their traditional “Meeting Planner Testimonials”, by creating a sense of the authentic Myrtle Beach vibe. “We needed to make our message about our customers’ experiences, rather than about us,” Andrews says.

It paid off. A time lapse video featuring the Gaither Homecoming in Myrtle Beach generated nearly 640% more views in a single year than their traditional testimonials had delivered in the previous five.

Thinking About The Attendees, Too

Myrtle Beach isn’t just focused on Millennial planners, though. The Convention Center’s Monroe is equally concerned about impressing the young generation of attendees when they arrive. “Once an event is secured, making certain your product suits the Millennial attendee will be equally important,” he says.

That requires a responsive team that’s nimble enough to change to meet market demand. “We recently hosted our first "e-gaming" convention where neither the organizers nor the attendees exceeded thirty years of age,” says Monroe. “We retooled the way we packaged our costs which helped to seal the deal, and when the gamers arrived, we introduced them to a custom-created Myrtle Beach experience that will keep them coming back.” 

To find out more about meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC and their innovative and customized approach for Millennial meetings, contact:

Myrtle Beach Convention Center
Brian Monroe, Director of Sales and Marketing

 (800) 537-1690

Click here for more information about reaching Millennial meeting planners and younger meeting attendees.

Brought to you by Myrtle Beach Convention Center

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