The optimism that followed the end of World War two spawned a huge increase in the birth rate that lasted for the next eighteen years. This generation, became known as the baby boomers and numbered in the hundreds of millions. They moved through the next thirty years creating an unprecedented economic boom.
Then the world changed as technology began to play an increasingly stronger role in our daily lives. It was a tool that the baby boomers struggled with while their children and grandchildren – Generation X and Y – adapted to technology and the power of the ether world as marketers quickly abandoned the baby boomers with the hopes of seducing these younger demographics.
But if the baby boomers have taught us anything it’s that they are resilient. The Boomers are using the internet more and nearly 33% of them are classified as heavy internet users.
In the US it is estimated that this older demographic is set to inherit $15 trillion dollars in the next 20 years controlling nearly 70% of spending.
What I believe this means for the exhibition industry is a clear need to not only continue along the path of integrated technology marketing techniques but to not assume that they are focused primarily on a younger demographic. The older demographics will still form a significant part of our audience of both attendees and exhibitors. While their attitudes and perspectives may differ from the younger generations, this study suggests that using technology is the most effective method of reaching all demographic groups.
The challenge I still see is in our ability to customize our marketing so that each demographic group is communicated to in a manner that is acceptable to them.