Generation C (Gen C) is a generation identified by GoogleThink who are creating, connecting, curating their own content, and building community. This is not represented by an age, but by an attitude and mindset; not separated by location, but global. It is the “generation” attending our events who are sharing – with each other in the live environment and with their much wider digital, social audiences. They are spreading what they hear, see, learn and connect to much further and wider than we can on our own. We NEED this generation to help us create FOMO (fear of missing out) which is one of our best available marketing tools year over year, event after event.
Authenticity and Generation C
The digital age has fundamentally changed how we connect to each other and it is not by age, but it’s everywhere. It is how parents connect to children, how we connect to our offices and colleagues and clients outside our immediate locations, and how we make our mark in the world we live in professionally and personally.
With information just a click or swipe away, we demand authenticity and transparency. In events, we used to plan our moments; now our audiences find their moments and share them. We used to create one photo backdrop, now everything is available as a backdrop, often to a selfie as we share our experiences, creating and adding to the highlight reel of our lives. There is also an expectation of responses; likes and comments providing the dopamine release in our brains validating our choice of attending this event.
Catering to Generation C
Generation C is looking for wonderful, surprising and relevant information they can share, adding to their own persona through curation. We are all thought leaders, emulating and expanding on the speakers’ messages, growing relevance with each share as we connect their wisdom to our own situations. Every share also connects us to the event, weaving a connection stronger than we had in the past to our organizations and associations, building loyalty in ways we didn’t have available to us a decade ago.
However, that loyalty needs to be held in high regard, and nurtured through touchpoints, now often digital, as what we share is liked, connected to, shared and engaged with throughout the year. I might not buy a membership or work for your organization, but if you stay connected, consistent and true, I will return and support your brand unwaveringly as you are now part of my story and my community.
This is our new reality, and understanding it is by shared values and not by age is our new imperative as event professionals. It gives us the opportunity to rethink how we design our events to honour our participants’ needs, whether they be physical, mental or emotional, and to give them what they seek in terms of information, comfort and connections as they craft their own unique experience in the context of the larger event. This is next-level event design, and it’s fun to see the (measurable) results!