Millennials fueling the experience economy amid political uncertainty

by | Jun 21, 2017 | Public Relations

Event tech platform Eventbrite released new research on how people are engaging with live events in a post-election America. Utilizing data sourced by global research firm Ipsos, the research uncovered that while 84 percent of Americans believe live events can inspire positive change for the country, Millennials (ages 18-34), continue to be the driving force behind growing event attendance.

Often referred to as the “experiences generation,” 9 out of 10 (89 percent) Millennials reported they had attended at least one live event within the past 12 months, up from 82 percent just three years ago.

Eventbrite experience economy

Key Millennial insights from the research include:

Experiences still trump stuff

When deciding how to spend their money, 3 out of 4 Millennials would rather buy an experience than something desirable, a figure that is consistent with previous Eventbrite research.

Attendance at political events is increasing

More than a quarter (28 percent) of Millennials have attended a live event supporting a particular cause in the last year—compared to 15 percent of older generations—and 62 percent attend more cause-related events now than they did 10 years ago.

Eventbrite experience economy

Offline interaction promotes positive change

While Millennials rely heavily on technology, they are the strongest believers in face-to-face interaction to promote positive change: 3 in 4 (75 percent) feel that participating in or attending a live event (such as a march or demonstration) is more impactful than taking action online (e.g. signing a petition), compared to just 55 percent of those aged 35+.

Live events foster connection and expand perspective

Four in five (79 percent) Millennials report that attending live events makes them feel more connected to other people, the community, and the world—significantly up from 69 percent just three years ago—and 74 percent said that attending a live event has been more successful at expanding their perspective than just reading about something online.

Social capital matters, especially to Millennial parents

Three in five (61 percent) Millennial parents admit to attending a live event so they have something to share on social channels (compared to 34 percent of Millennials without children), and 70 percent use social media to livestream or share their experience in the moment (compared to 47 percent of Millennials without children) on social channels like Facebook Live and Snapchat.

When considering the impact of the current political climate on live event attendance, the purchasing power of Millennials is key. Millennials are projected to spend upwards of $1.4 trillion in 2020, in addition to the $12 trillion “Great” and $30 trillion “Greater” wealth transfers they’re expected to inherit from older generations in the coming decades. Their continued preference to buy live experiences over things suggests enormous potential for the live events space—from concerts, to rallies, to festivals—in addition to the perception that events promote positive change for the country, connecting us in ways online platforms do not.

Eventbrite experience economy

“Millennials are the largest living generation and their ever-increasing demand for live experiences is both exciting and encouraging for us, and for the hundreds of thousands of professional organizers that use Eventbrite,” said Tamara Mendelsohn, consumer GM at Eventbrite, in a news release. “In addition to confirming that Millennials attend more events than any other generation, the research also uncovered the notion that the current political climate is driving a deep desire for Americans to connect with each other, their communities and the world, and that they see live events as an incredible way to do that.”

Download the complete report here.

Report findings are from an Ipsos poll conducted April 11-16, 2017, by Crowd DNA, on behalf of Eventbrite. For the survey, a sample of 2,012 adults aged 18+ from the United States was interviewed online, in English. The sample for this study was randomly drawn using Ipsos’ online sampling methodology and post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income based on the 2016 Census ACS. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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