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Generation X wants events to be ‘shared, communal experiences’

The changing face of hospitality is explored in People Buy Experiences, a Keith Prowse white paper.

Subtle design, carefully chosen food menus and shared, communal experiences are on trend for the millennial, while the discreet, upscale and more formal events are more desirable for an older demographic.

Sam Coates, Keith Prowse’s head of marketing, delves into the analysis and findings at IMEX Frankfurt on 23 May.

“We are excited to share this research and the learnings it brings. The paper takes an outward look at the business of hospitality to understand what tomorrow’s guests want and what influences them to attend,” Coates said.

“The business of hospitality has always been about building networks and, increasingly so, it’s about nurturing trust between hosts and their guests.”

The survey asked buyers, sponsors and attendees of hospitality to share their experiences, including what they want to see more of and how they plan on using hospitality over the next year. The research, which had responses from more than 400 organisations, investigates the best practices, demands and trends for guest engagement and retention.

A reliance on hospitality to engender trust between organisations and their stakeholders was one of the key takeaways.

“Our business is to help our clients create interactions; whether it is for imparting knowledge, learning and development, celebrating or rewarding,” David Taylor, VP sales and marketing EMEA, BCD M&E said.

Hospitality has importance and relevance in nurturing and re-igniting relationships by personal interactions as well as creating lasting interactions.

Social media is of importance to a new generation of guests to help build brands. Furthermore, sharing the experience on social media is more important to the younger age range than to older respondents.

The study found that the C-suite accounts for 48 per cent of buyers and 42 per cent of sponsors holding the budget.

Buyers are using hospitality as an incentive to reward high-performing staff. Retaining talent is vital for companies and although bonuses are of high value, tickets to an exclusive event is a big motivator.

For event guests (68 per cent of respondents), atmosphere as well as high-quality food and beverage offerings are high up on the scale of what makes a memorable event. This is particularly important to Generation X (35-44 age range).

The favourite events to attend are tennis, rugby and horse racing, which had equal appeal for men and women. Arts, theatre and festivals are predominantly preferred by females, while football and cricket are male dominated.

People Buy Experiences white paper is available for download here.