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Generation X Is the Name, Trade Shows Are the Game

March 17, 2020

If your target audience was born between 1965 and 1981, then there are some important things you should note when marketing to them. Some would say that Generation X, the generation who falls between baby boomers and millennials, is the best suited to preserve American traditions. You may also find it important to note that their power is currently rising in the workplace. With more power comes more decision-making responsibility.

Here are some important Generation X characteristics to take into consideration when working to appeal to them through your trade show marketing efforts: 


Generation X is capable and appreciative of personal connections. 

Trade shows are an amazing marketing tactic when it comes to reaching Generation X because this generation thrives on personal connections. They grew up with more face-to-face interactions as phones were not a distraction for them at that time. The ways they learned to conduct business and form relationships stemmed from their interpersonal skills. 

This means there’s no better way than in-person marketing to network and collaborate. with Generation Xers. Work hard to focus your exhibit marketing strategy on making genuine connections with prospects in your booth. Find and train a booth staff who also has these qualities and understands the importance of face-to-face connections that can grow much easier than any online business relationship. 

While in-person marketing is extremely effective for Generation X buyers, it’s also quite impactful for every other generation as well. Trade shows provide so much value when companies are able to form real life business relationships. Still unsure if face-to-face marketing is something your business needs? Here are three big reasons why in-person marketing is a must for your business! 

Generation X has a healthy relationship with technology. 

As a generation who didn’t grow up with a phone in their hands, Generation X can cope just fine if they’re not up to date on the latest social media trends. They don’t feel the need to know what their friends are up to at all times like other generations. Hence, the reason why this generation is not as glued to digital technology. It’s more of a healthy relationship - they can navigate social media, but they don’t have an urge to. 

Some of this generation didn’t even grow up with the internet, and didn’t start using it until later in their lives. However, many of them did have access to it at the start of their careers, so navigating digital technology has been a learning process for them. 

You won’t find the most success targeting this audience before a trade show through social media. You also likely won’t resonate with them on a high level if you choose to incorporate social media in your booth. For example, asking Generation X to send out a tweet to enter a giveaway may not be the best tactic. Only about 25% of Gen Xers regularly post to Twitter. If you do want to implement some type of social media incentive in your exhibit for the sake of your other target audience generations, Facebook might be a more successful platform as about 95% of Generation Xers have an account. 

It’s good to understand that this generation prefers email to communicate. So, if you are asking for information when collecting leads, include the option for them to give their email and use this communication tool heavily. Also, consider including email outreach in your before and after-show communication to see the best results. 


Generation X is all about working hard to get what they want. 

This generation is 25% more eager for advancement in their job than other generations. 75% of them agree that hard work is the key to getting ahead. So, we know that they will work hard, but what does this mean to you when you are selling to them? 

They see past the effort that it might take to achieve something, and they focus on the outcome of success. Proving to Generation X in your trade show exhibit that they can achieve xyz with your product or service will leave them feeling confident in your offer. Using your exhibit to show them the final outcome will be a great marketing tactic that is able to convince them that investing in what your business has to offer will be a great decision. 


Generation X sparked the idea of a work-life balance. 

As the generation who sparked the idea of creating a better work-life balance, they see the importance in innovation and convenience. As the baby boomers overworked themselves, Generation X saw things differently, and expected more flexibility in the workplace. They decided they wanted more of a life outside of work, and that’s what happened. Many aren’t afraid to leave a job for one that’s more flexible.

So how can this be applied to your marketing efforts toward them? By showing them that your products can help them find ways to make things easier on a daily basis. They want flexibility, meaning they don’t want to be stuck at their desks all day, every day. If you’re in an industry that sells solutions to this type of obstacle, whether it be technology that allows people to work from home throughout the week, a way to shorten processes in daily life or the workplace, or something that makes daily household work a little bit easier so someone can enjoy more of their time away from work, then Generation X is all ears. 


Generation X is more direct. 

If Generation X takes up a majority of your target audience, then you should know that they are much more direct than millennials and Generation Z. They are more appreciative of open and honest conversations. 

This is important for your booth staff to know because being direct with someone can save a lot of time. Cutting straight to the point is what Generation X wants; not using fluff to make things better than they appear. 


If Generation X is a large part of your target market, your trade show exhibit should take their characteristics into mind. If your exhibit design or trade show marketing efforts need an update to meet the needs of your target audience, reach out to Skyline Exhibits Chicago for expert assistance! 

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