The original Retirement Expo is rapidly changing the public's perception of how stimulating, rewarding and inspiring retirement planning and living can be.
The second annual Retirement Expo took place from 26-28 October 2012 at the Coca-Cola dome in Johannesburg and attracted a multi-generational audience of future and current retirees. Statistics revealed that 80% of visitors to the show are still planning for retirement, while 20% described themselves as successfully retired and there to explore lifestyle options.
Says Lynn Chamier, general manager of the Retirement Expo at Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group (TEPG), Retirement Expo organisers, "In terms of audience, the Retirement Expo has a dual objective - to attract those planning for retirement and those looking to add quality and value to their current retirement lifestyle. We could not have hoped for a better mix than the 80% of visitors still planning for their retirement, and 20% already retired.
"Of particular significance for our exhibitors was the fact that 84% of visitors indicated they were likely to purchase at the event. Also interesting was that 60% of expo visitors were women and the average age was 54 years. The visitor mix proved to be accurate for our exhibitors and when surveyed the majority described the quality and quantity of visitors to the show and to their expo stands in particular as 'good' or 'excellent.'"
Exhibitor testimonials bear out these survey results. Says exhibitor Vanessa van der Merwe of Link2Care, "The Retirement Expo brought leads directly to us, that we would have spent a lot of time to find otherwise. Visitors are willing to sit down and talk to us about our product and service offering. We also found that we built good relationship and prospective leads with other exhibitors. There are a lot of synergies at this expo."
Jane Martin of The Somerset Lifestyle & Retirement Village was similarly pleased with the results of her company's participation and adds, "We have had an excellent show. It was very busy for us, and we picked up some excellent leads."
The Retirement Expo's formula for success and innovation is one that blends a targeted expo with an exhilarating programme of participative activities and informative, insightful workshops that add genuine value to visitors' quest for retirement-based information and their overall experience of the show.
A cross section of the activities that drew the crowds at this year's expo included participative fitness and dancing demonstrations, competitions like 'Minute to Win It' and bingo, among others. Workshops, in turn, included informative financial management and health and wellbeing workshops, presented by experts in their fields who were eager to share their knowledge and answer participants' questions.
The expo itself was engaging and well represented, and included a plethora of exhibitors representing retirement properties, lifestyle estates, financial planning services, travel tours and destinations, holiday resorts, healthcare, wellbeing, retirement activities, mid- and frail-care facilities and services, and more besides.
Concludes Chamier, "For Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group the measure of an expo's success is not only our own satisfaction with the outcome, but that of our exhibitors and visitors and I'm pleased to say that by far the majority of both groups expressed great satisfaction with the outcome of the 2012 Retirement Expo.
"We are now working on the 2013 expo and exploring new ways to communicate to South Africans the benefits and rewards of a well-planned, inspired retirement. We are also challenging ourselves to find new and innovative ways to drive home the message that 'it's never too early to start planning for retirement' and to increase our share of visitors in the under-40 age bracket."
Marketers who wish to secure early access to the valuable, multi-generational audience at the 2013 expo and ensure a prime location and maximum value from their participation, should call Lynne Levy on 011 549 8300, email .
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