When you think of today’s parents at events, who do you see? If a stroller-pushing, baby-wearing millennial comes to mind, you’d be right. According to Eventbrite research, 68% of all Aussie millennials are attending more daytime, family-suitable events on the weekend compared to just five years ago (jumping to 73% for older millennials).

But don’t let that fool you into thinking attracting them to your events will be easy — millennials aren’t just different in how they parent, they’re also unique in their expectations of family-friendly events. After a decade of attending festivals and other types of events, they’re accustomed to unique and immersive experiences. And they want that for their kids, too.

What today’s parents look for in events

The majority of millennials value experiences over things — and that feeling doesn’t stop once they become parents. An Eventbrite survey in the US found that 87% of parents with children under 18 strongly believe experiences are more valuable for their kids than material things. But they’re not dropping the kids off for a few hours or even booking a sitter so they can attend an event child-free —  3/4 said they’re more likely to attend an event they can bring their children to than one that they can’t.

Millennial and Gen Z parents are drawn to events that include activities and experiences for both their children and themselves. And with more of these younger generations having children every day, it’s a growing opportunity you can’t ignore.

In fact, some events that weren’t focused on families have already seen a shift in their attendance. “5K Foam Fest started focused on socialites in their late 20s and 30s,” says 365 Sports Marketing Director Michael Lambert. “At the time, our family group registration represented only five percent sales. But as participants became parents, that number quickly rose to about 30%.”

So what makes a family-friendly event worth the ticket price in parents’ eyes? Here is how to make an event attractive to the family friendly crowd, by answering five key questions that parents will have before choosing to buy a ticket.

Five essentials parents need to know before attending your event

#1: Will the event be interesting to my kids?

Many parents have more than one child and are looking for things they can do together, with age-appropriate activities for younger and older kids.

How to meet this need:
Create multiple levels of participation. Preparing the family for an outing can be a daunting task. Most parents want to know how their child will benefit from your event before bundling everybody up in the car and spending money on an experience. One of the easiest ways to add more value for parents is to offer many activities for multiple ages and stages. Don’t forget that kids aren’t the only ones attending your event. Parents or guardians — even uncles, aunts, and grandparents — are often attracted to events where they can participate in experiences with children, too.

#2: When is it?

It’s not easy balancing everybody’s busy schedules. Older children have clubs and commitments to balance, and children under three have naptime, and mealtimes can make it hard to get out for an event if it falls within those windows. That’s why the second top consideration of parents is the timing of your event.

How to meet this need:
Know your age group. Are you putting on an event for babies and their mothers? Time it in the early morning or late afternoon, in between the usual naptime windows. Pay close attention to what other local and regional events do, and remember — you can always survey your parents to see what times they’d like best.

You could also consider hosting a time-flexible or multi-day event. Offer parents the option to pick and choose when they’d like to attend your event under one all-access ticket. This option can give families the flexibility that they’re willing to pay more for.

#3: Where is it? Will there be parking?

Families have to carry a lot of stuff to get out and about. Nappies, snacks, spare clothes, water bottles, strollers — it all adds up fast. That’s why where you hold your event is almost as important as when it will be.

How to meet this need:
Consider pram accessibility for events that are attracting young families. Just as you would for wheelchair access, it’s important to communicate any potential issues on your website FAQ page and/or in emails prior to the event to avoid frustration and disappointment. If your venue has a security policy around the size of bags, keep in mind that all parents will be carrying large nappy bags and won’t be able to check them easily as they will need quick access to their children’s necessities. Knowing this ahead of time will allow parents to be prepared.

#4: How much are tickets?

Cost can be prohibitive to many families, especially larger ones, so it’s important to find the sweet spot for pricing your event. If your event is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for kids, parents will be more likely to commit to a higher price point than a morning outing.

How to meet this need:
Set a reasonable price, but don’t sell yourself short. Family-friendly events have a unique challenge when it comes to pricing. Your goal is to find the balance between pricing tickets so you can make a profit and still look like a good deal for parents.

Discounts and early bird pricing can help you win over on-the-fence parents who aren’t quite ready to commit to your event yet. Early birds are a great way to kick off your on-sale with tickets that are persuasively cheaper than your full price General Admissions. Discounts, such as for returning families, first-time families, or batch ticket purchasers (e.g. 2 Adults, 2 Kids), can give your ticket sales a boost when you need it.

Make sure to demonstrate the value of attending. It’s not just about the main experience itself. If you’re offering multiple activities and have food included in the ticket cost, be sure to mention those extra perks frequently in your event promotions and communications.

#5: Is the event put on by someone trustworthy?

The internet is a powerful thing and today’s parents rely on it to vet experiences, venues, and organisations before trusting them with their kids. This means being authentic about your event is of utmost importance in building trust with this group of informed parents.

How to meet this need:
Offer families a warm welcome. A positive, relaxed vibe is very important for families, especially if their children are on the shy side. Having trusted staff on hand can ensure your attendees — parents and children alike — feel grounded and comfortable.

Put an emphasis on safety. This comes back to knowing your age group, but make sure you have the right safety practices in place. Conducting a risk assessment can help you assess the suitability of your site. Once you know your venue is up to scratch, be sure to include a line or two about your commitment to safety in your event description.

You should also work on building a trusted, year-round event brand. Put programs in place to make it more likely that previous attendees will recommend your event to other parents — a contest asking fans to tag their friends for free ticket, for example. It takes time to build trust between parents and your event brand, but it’s worth doing to keep your event top of mind for parents who know (and don’t know) about it.

Make your niche event stand out

You’ve started the perfect event that parents and kids will love, now it’s time to make sure they know it exists. Download the free guide, Find Your Tribe: Your Guide to Marketing Niche Events.