One of the greatest paradoxes of modern event marketing is just what kind of wacky tobacky the vast majority of the world’s marketers have been smoking when they issue their edicts that the best (or indeed effectively only) demographic group that is worth creating events for is the one with acne-riddled faces whose birth certificates invariably fall within the Clinton Administration. As a frequent event attendee who was born in the Lincoln Administration, I must stand up for the rights of the seasoned and mature audiences everywhere and therefore demonstrate to all event marketers that they have the wrong demo in their sights! Grey Power Forever!
Many seniors have more money than 3rd World cities
How can it possibly make any sense whatsoever to target your events to a teen audience rather than one which is more senior? The average 18 year old is likely scrambling to make ends meet from their burger flipping minimum wage job, while there are countless millions of older Americans with paid off mortgages and more disposable income than entire Third World cities. Just about the only way that teens obtain that kind of disposable income is to get an early inheritance or deal smiley pills in alleys behind night clubs.
Most teens have to sneak WalMart candy bars into the movies
The entire image of the average late-teenager promulgated by the media on the American populace is not just a hoax but a blatantly outrageous one at that. I know many young people from all walks of life and I can assure you that none of them wear $1,200 boutique clothing items or have 18K gold iPhone covers. They usually count themselves lucky if they can have the gas pump reach double $ figures in their 1978 Chevettes, or if they don’t have to sneak their own 79 cent WalMart candy bars into the movies.
Not just nap-taking incontinent dodderheads
The prevailing media image of older Americans is just as skewed as the teens, however. We’re all stereotyped as nap-taking, incontinent dodderheads whose sole concern is to weasel a reverse mortgage so we can buy a mobility scooter, a stair lift, and a walk-in bathtub. Very rare is the approach to an older audience which demonstrates any remote acquaintance with reality. You can just hear the conversations in the conference rooms of the event organizers: “but how could we possibly mount an evening event for an older audience… don’t they all go to bed by 8 pm?”
The Monty Python Reunion Show sold out in 43.5 seconds
To those myopic event marketers, all I can say is that they should learn from the recent London example of what is the real power of the senior audience. The legendary comedy troupe of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle announced a Monty Python reunion show at the O2 Arena and sold out all 20,000 seats at prices between $51 and $171 in exactly 43.5 seconds. Within just about as few seconds, those same tickets surfaced on eBay at $1,300 and up.
Fewer teens in the O2 than senior World Twerking Champions
Even though the thought of spending that kind of money to watch five grandfathers engaging in hobbled, arthritic versions of the silly walks around the O2 stage while spewing out non-sequitors about dead parrots certainly isn’t worth a four figure scalped ticket to yours truly, the fact remains that you can bet your personally autographed Benny Goodman 78 rpm record cover that there will be fewer teens in the O2 audience that night than there are senior citizen World Twerking Champions. This massive ticket sale is not a phenomenon restricted only to cult followers of antediluvian BBC Brithumo(u)r, but can be applied by event marketers to the 78 million Americans who are 55 or older who have an average net worth of over $200,000 as compared to the under-35s with their sub-$10,000 figure.
There are valid alternatives in event production to writing six figure checks to Zayn Malik or Ulrik Munther for a concert targeted at emo teens. Older Americans can be your best audience!