External Communications Manager Brenda Wong was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the annual European Youth Card Association conference in June 2016. There, she spoke on the 'mythical millennial' and touched upon the key youth trends of the year so far. Read on for her account of the experience:
There is another reality which exists that results in me not going to Gdansk. Strong security settings at HQ sometimes results in important, legitimate emails bouncing into my spam folder, but I checked it on a whim sometime in mid-May. There was a peculiar email - one inviting me personally to speak at a conference in Poland. Curiosity piqued, I read on. I was invited to be the keynote speaker at a conference, asked to deliver insights to representatives from all across Europe with the hope of completely revolutionising the way they approach marketing to young people.
Nervy stuff. But it's in our nature here at Voxburner to take risks and do as much as we can to emphasise the importance of genuinely engaging with young people, so off I went.
The theme of the conference was 'Online, mobile & active: engaging communications with new generations." With that in mind I constructed a keynote titled 'The State of Youth', covering 5 key youth trends the delegates could focus on when constructing their youth marketing strategy, and one important message:
Millennials: they don't really exist. There it is. As a 23-year-old working for a company focusing solely on changing the perception that young people are completely impenetrable and difficult to understand, I had to stress that "millennials" aren't just a statistic, or a buzzword companies can use to get page views for B2B content. They're extremely diverse, and painting them with broad strokes will result in your 'millennial' marketing campaign to fail. Instead, I stressed the importance of targeting based on smaller niches, and to use messaging that aims to enrich, not patronise.
It was an honour to have been invited to the EYCA conference by their brilliant organisers, and to have been given the chance to express opinions that rocked the steady boat. On my way from Gdansk airport I shared a ride with four other delegates, one of whom I felt was very against any sort of change when it came to youth marketing. "Why fix what isn't broken?" I remember him saying. Two days later as I was sitting in the hotel lobby waiting to embark on my return journey, he made a point to say how impressed he was with the keynote, and how it had really opened his eyes to finding new ways to engage with young people.
If you can change one person's mind, you can change a thousand. That's what we hope to do at Voxburner - provide mind-blowing insights about young people and bridge the communication gap between companies and 'millennials'.