Weekly Insights: What Will Your Show (or Association) Audience Look Like in 20 Years?

Photo: © Depositphotos/HASLOO

It’s not necessarily a new topic: the average age of association members (and therefore trade show participants) is increasing. Organizations have been focused for years on recruiting more Millennials, which can mean a more secure future for their conferences and trade shows. But those younger professionals still aren’t joining in huge numbers.

This recent article from Wild Apricot (a company that provides member management tools for associations) proposes that it’s not necessarily due to Facebook, LinkedIn or other online tools used for making connections and learning about their industry. It’s really more basic than that.

The real reason is they don’t see the value in joining an industry association – or attending the annual conference and expo.

It’s our job as trade show and meeting professionals to make sure that investment of time and money is worth it to attendees of all ages. If you’d like to learn more about attracting and engaging a younger audience, Wild Apricot is kicking off their Membership Growth Summit next week with a session on how to do just that. Here’s the link where you can learn more and get registered for the Summit. (And no, they didn’t ask me to promote, nor am I receiving anything for promoting their Summit.)

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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