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New research uncovers Millennial business extension opportunity

Sammi Rudge, Business Tourism Development Officer, Southport Conferences
New research, launched today at the Venue Expo, shows that millennial delegates are twice as likely to extend their stay in a destination post event than non-Millennials. The research, commissioned by Southport Conferences, also uncovered a string of new data that underlines a major opportunity for the events industry.

The survey, commissioned through Gorkana Surveys, looked to understand the desire of Millennials to business extend, what they do when they do extend, and what would encourage them to stay longer in a destination after a conference. The research is the latest from Southport Conferences to look at the benefits and opportunities for the industry by understanding business extension.

The headline from the research was that Millennials are twice as likely to extend in a destination as non-Millennials, with 16% showing an appetite to often extend their visit vs. 8%. The survey also underlined the continuing trend from Millennials to look to CSR; Millennials are twice as likely to extend for CSR reasons than non-Millennials, they are also much more likely to do outdoor activities - 39% vs. 29%.

“The nature of our destination means we’re very keen to understand the opportunity of business extension and, thanks to this survey, we can now see the full opportunity of the Millennial to business extension, and its huge,” commented Sammi Rudge, Business Tourism Development Officer, Southport Conferences. “We’ve done a number of insights into business extension, but this is the most explosive. It shows a new level of engagement towards destinations, and a great opportunity for us all to make our cities and venue’s play a bigger part in life before and after the event itself.”

The survey also looked at habits of Millennials within the event itself. Social media was unsurprisingly an important part of the millennial conference programme with only one in five not using social media at events. One in three are also to be found doing their own tweeting, blogging, or posting to their social media channels at an event, compared to just 13% of non-Millennials. Equally, Millennials (26%) are more likely to directly interact with the venue and destination than non-Millennials (18%) through social and digital media.

The survey also looked to explore ways to encourage Millennials to extend in the destination, and the results where once again intriguing. Loud and clear was the need for a Central Booking Service through the event itself; over one in five Millennials would extend their business through this service. Equally ¼ of all Millennials said that a loyalty scheme would keep them in the destination.

The survey defined what a Millennial was; someone who was either born after 1980, or felt themselves to be socially, marketing, and digitally savvy and allowed respondents to decide if they felt they were Millennials. Intriguingly about 49% of people born in or before 1980 saw themselves as Millennials including 47% of respondents between 44 and 64.

“One of the things the industry needs to understand when looking at Millennials is that they are not defined by their age, and again this survey underlined this,” concluded Rudge. “Millennials have a shared state of mind, they like to travel, explore, give something back to the community and they get modern communication.”

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