We say it all the time—an event isn’t successful without attendees. At very least, there’s no way to gauge the success of your event without attendees. And your family-friendly event is no different. All your decisions should be centered around your target audience. (Along with the budget, of course!) In this case, your target audience is mostly millennials.
Currently, millennials make up one-third of the adult population. They’re individuals between 23-38 years old, starting families and shopping for experiences over things. They’re also a large portion of your family-friendly event crowd. In just five years, millennial attendance at family-friendly events has increased by 64%! Targeting millennials is crucial for your family-friendly event.
Naturally, you want to know how to attract them. We’ve boiled down a successful family-friendly event into four components. Of course, we know event planning is a little more complicated than four steps. But this will help you plan an engaging event—that people actually attend. Keep reading to find out how!
#1: Plan a Family-Friendly Event
Hopefully, this seems like an obvious first step. But do you know what your ideal millennial family wants? Using “family-friendly event” on your posters and social media posts won’t be enough. Parents will see right through that. Instead, you need to plan an event that addresses common family concerns. Balancing work, school, and extra-curricular activities doesn’t leave a lot of spare time for social events—no matter how badly they want to go!
For optimal attendance, plan an event with a flexible schedule. This could include a multi-day event, so families can choose the best day for them. Or a festival-esque event, where everyone can come and go as they please. If time and space allow, plan multiple activities, too. This won’t just engage children with different interests—it’ll keep them busy, encouraging families to hang out longer.
#2: Set the Right Price
Of course, everyone loves free things! But a priced ticket isn’t a deal-breaker—as long as it’s priced right. In general, you should price the tickets so that you make a modest profit. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t inflate the prices, either.
Bonus Tip: Whether the ticket are free or not, attendees expect to pay for in-event food.
If your family-friendly event has activities that cost tickets or coins (which, in turn, cost money) offer free admission. Your profits will come entirely from the rides and games—and the free entry will draw a larger crowd. For an event with free activities or shows, a reasonably priced ticket is expected. But try to encourage sales by offering early bird discounts, and group rates. This helps families save a few dollars before they even show up!
#3: Write an Engaging Description
Just like setting your pricing and choosing event activities, you have to know your audience to write a stellar event description. Your event description is a deal breaker for many interested families. If there isn’t enough information, or it doesn’t sound interesting—they won’t attend. Always keep important keywords at the top of your description. This could include “multi-day” or “face painting” and even “free ice cream.” Whatever the selling points of your event are, feature them.
Don’t write a super long description, either. If you have an entire landing page or website dedicated to your family-friendly event, be selective with the information in your description. For example, mention that it’s multi-day in the description. Then expect the reader to look on the site to figure out exactly when the gates open. If you don’t have extra space for more details, break up the description into digestible paragraphs. Keep them 3-5 sentences each, and don’t write more than four, if you can.
#4: Promote on the Right Channels
Millennials use two things to engage with events: social media and word of mouth. In fact, a study by Evenbrite and The Harris Poll discovered that 64% of millennials use social media to find events. That means you should be promoting your events online—and often. This not only lets attendees register online, but it also encourages them to share your event themselves. Which you definitely want! Because that same study found out that 60% of millennials attend events based on word of mouth.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid other methods, like emails and paid advertising. You’ll know what works best for your audience! But don’t discredit the power of social media and recommendations. Millennials love them, and that age group is a big part of your guest list.
You can’t ignore millennials; there are too many of them. (And they love going to your family-friendly events!) But there are some ways you can tailor your event to draw them in. Don’t over-promise and be flexible, and you just might have an attendee for life. And who knows—maybe they’ll even bring their friends!
How have you increased attendance at family-friendly events in the past? What made them successful?