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3 Cs Gen Z cares about the most (and how it will impact the future of events)

Tahseen Kazi
,
Published:
January 17, 2022

“Whenever I'm bored, I can always find something to do on my phone.”
“I can’t live without my laptop, because I’m enrolled in a virtual school and I have to use it.”
“I follow the news because I want to be aware of the world.”

These statements made by Gen Z offer a raw glimpse into how they're different from millennials. This is a generation that has grown in an age of technology. So they expect innovation from brands. They have short attention spans. They like authenticity. They want to see “real people” instead of celebrities in advertising.

This is a generation that is set to make up almost a third of the workforce by the next decade, an expected upward growth of 51 million by 2030. And these dominant zoomers, as they are often colloquially referred, taking over the workforce will impact your future events. This invites the million-dollar question:

Event organizers, do you really know Gen Z and what matters to the future event trend-setters?

Climate Change

Gen Z is acutely aware of climate change and its impending impact. It is the generation that will be affected by it the most. And so you shouldn’t be surprised if 26% of the generation say climate change is their greatest concern. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg exemplifies how serious this generation is about climate change.

In fact, 54% even believe that climate change is a result of human activity.

virtual-event-trends-2022-Gen Z climate change

Opportunity for event organizers

73% of the carbon footprint of events is because of the travel involved. To be more eco-friendly, try reimagining various aspects of event planning. Here are a few things you can do right away:

  • Plan more localized events
  • Go completely virtual
  • Rethink event swag and merchandise
  • If organizing physical events, source your event supplies locally when possible

There’s something else worth noting. About 60% of Gen Z confirm that they are likely to use VR when it becomes available to them. Pro tip: This is your cue to be quick in adopting any virtual technology as soon as it becomes available.

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Community

GenZ is more racially diverse and radically inclusive than any previous generation. They don’t distinguish between friends they meet online and in the physical world. They value online communities because they allow people of different economic and educational backgrounds to connect and mobilize around causes and interests.

Besides, they are also a digital generation. They have no idea how the world looked before smartphones. To them, Wi-Fi and 4G are basic needs.

Opportunity for event organizers

Virtual events make it possible for you to build global communities. Figure out how best to use event tech platforms to offer your audience:

  • Extended connection and networking opportunities
  • On-demand, interactive content they can consume at their own pace
  • The opportunity to learn from experts in a variety of fields

It’s important to be mindful that Gen Z has grown up with diversity, and they will surely notice the lack of it. So as an event organizer it’s your job to do everything it takes to host inclusive events.

Causes

Lastly, Gen Z is one of the most socially “woke” generations there has ever been. In the last two years:

  • 52% have donated to charities
  • 40% have been a volunteer or member of a community organization, charity, or nonprofit
  • 40% have created social media content relating to an environmental, human rights, political or social issue

What’s more? Gen Z's have used online media to give momentum to several social causes. A case in point is 23-year-old Malala Yousafzai. Her blog about the right to education launched her into the spotlight as an education activist in 2009. She later went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Opportunity for event organizers

62% of young Americans think their voices are more powerful online than offline. Event organizers must consider how their events:

  • Represent their company’s brand and ethos to this audience
  • Can partner with organizations and contribute to causes, their audiences feel deeply about
  • Can use technology to spread awareness about a social cause to a global audience

Conclusion

Beyond the three Cs of climate change, communities, and causes - this young generation is also vastly different in everyday aspects. Take this as an example - 51% of Gen Z prefers face-to-face communication. At the same time, 90% of 13-24-year-olds in the US use Snapchat.

They crave engaging, Instagram-worthy experiences. They also value two-way communication at events. They don’t just want to attend monologue-like sessions. They want to interact with speakers and leaders. Accessibility and networking opportunities are important to this young audience.

The bottom line is Gen Z is altering the social landscape. And there’s no doubt about that. What this means for you is that the events landscape is changing at the same time. It’s now up to you as an event organizer to keep up with the change and make this audience your own in the long run.

Ready for the future of events in 2022? 5 trends to watch out for!

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Author
Tahseen Kazi

Tahseen is a marketer by profession, a storyteller at heart, and a tech geek by education. She has previously worked as a software developer and client partner. However, creating meaningful content is what she likes best. When she's not writing, she's reading. She's also a self-designated casting director - in her head, she casts people for characters in imaginary movies and tv series.

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