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Millennials, Gen X stay local with shows

Last year marked the first time Millennials—defined by the Pew Research Center as ages 20-36 in 2017—have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S., citing Census Bureau population estimates.

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By 2028, their slightly older Generation X coworkers—defined by Pew as ages 37-52 in 2017—will also surpass Baby Boomers in population size.

While the two age groups don’t have much in common, one thing they agree on is a growing unwillingness to travel long distances for work. Millennials, in particular, often turn down employment that requires long commutes because it means less time with family and friends. Research from The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry indicates that this will provide new opportunities for regional trade show organizers. Regional shows offer exhibitors and attendees less time and money spent on travel, and from a personal view, more quality time at home with their family and friends.

PACK EXPO East (April 16-18; Pennsylvania Convention Center) in Philadelphia is a prime example of a trade show targeting a regional audience. Its location in the densely populated Northeast corridor places it within 200 miles of one-third of U.S. consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs), including the country’s largest concentration of life science and pharmaceutical businesses.

“PACK EXPO East’s convenient location allows us to send a large team and talk with many suppliers,” said Ronald Yakubison, Director, GTO Packaging Technical Operations, Merck.

Attendees and exhibitors alike cited trouble-free travel and customer access as some of the many advantages of the regional location.

“We found that our East Coast clients brought larger teams to PACK EXPO East than we’ve seen at other shows,” said Richard Bahr, CEO, MGS, a Coesia company. “We captured some [regional] leads that we may not have gotten if not for our attendance.”

The Trade Show News Network (TSNN) touts the amount of time attendees and exhibitors can meet at events that aren’t overwhelming in size as another attraction for those in the 20- to 50-year-old demographic. Considered the leading news resource for the trade show industry, TSNN reports that more than ever, today’s trade show customer seeks long-term relationships. Regional shows accentuate these investments as attendees can navigate these more intimate events with additional staff who might not typically attend larger, more expensive shows.

For more information about attending or exhibiting, visit

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