Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thoughts about running a retirement show

Last weekend a “retirement show” was run in one of London’s major exhibition halls. I was not enamoured by the web site promoting the show but it clearly had the opposite effect on a lot of other people.

I thought it would be really useful to hear from the event’s organiser about the lessons learnt from running the exhibition.
Having just completed the first Retirement Show in London's Olympia, and been through the questionnaires that have been sent back (in their hundreds), a few points have become obvious. The diversity of 'the 50+' market is vast.

As many people liked financial seminars as loathed them. As many people welcomed information on coffins, death and dying, as shunned them. Where some welcomed health information, others were happy not to have it force-fed to them. As many were happy about equity-releasers as were unable to take advantage.

Perhaps the main lesson that we have learned is that this generation contains as much diversity as any other - perhaps more. They are certainly a discerning collection of people, who are not slow to let you know if you could be serving them better. Let them down at your peril!

The overwhelming majority of the visitors were very positive, very happy, and wished the event well. Most say that they will return, and that they will bring their friends. The show seems to have the potential to become a valuable avenue to reach this widely-misunderstood group.

Two major lessons we have learned: this generation likes to have a sit down, and it likes to have a reasonably-priced cup of tea!

Such was the response that we will organise the event three times in 2008, in Manchester, London and Glasgow. We expect the number of exhibitors to increase, which will bring more diversity to the exhibition floor - and given the diversity in tastes of the visitors, this will be a positive move.
I really recommend that you have a look at a video of the show which gives a good feel for the style of the event and the people attending.(It is a nicely made video). Dick Stroud

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