Experiential rewards offer unique benefits that can make them stand out from merchandise rewards: they create emotions, they build lasting memories, they allow for shared experiences among those involved, and they can satisfy the recipient’s interests and hobbies on a deeper level than things alone have the ability to. These benefits seem to have a compelling appeal to millennials — a report published by Eventbrite shows that this generation has a strong preference for experiences over things.
The Eventbrite report, conducted by Harris, examined the buying preferences of Americans ages 18-34 and found that millennials have strong preferences for experiences over things. They prefer to spend their money on experiences and live events like concerts, athletics, shows, cultural experiences and more.
The Eventbrite results are striking: Over three-quarters of millennials (78 percent) would rather spend their money on an event or experience than buy something, and over half (55 percent) are currently spending more than ever on experiences.
In line with the known power of experientials to create lasting memories and positive emotions, Eventbrite reports that the majority of millennials (77 percent) say that some of their best memories are from an event or experience. And as we know that experientials can deepen bonds between those involved, the majority of millennials say that they feel more connected to others and the world around them by attending experiences (69 percent), and attending live events with friends and family can increase those relationships (79 percent).
This research comes at a time when millennials are quickly becoming the majority of today’s workforce, yet they are continually a challenge to maintain engaged at their jobs. Aon Hewitt and O.C. Tanner studied 470 employers in five countries and found that one in four recognition programs aren’t effective for millennials workers.
While this isn’t encouraging news, the study did find three key components from organizations with successful rewards and recognition programs for millennials, and one of those three components was experiential rewards (the other two were handwritten notes and “thank you’s”).
This shows that the power of experientials not only appeals to millennials in their personal lives, it may also be a strong factor in helping them stay engaged at the workplace and partake in rewards and recognition programs.