Neville Buch at Blenheim had been briefed on a 50+ event and had come in one morning with the idea of Quality Time as the name for the event. However, at that time the term was most often used in connection with cancer and so it was not a completely positive term. But we had difficulty agreeing on anything else, and he was CEO, so we made it so.
We did a great deal of useful research and evolved a strong database of potential exhibitors. There was one awful conclusion, an equation that emerged from our research. Most people die as net savers, because they know how much money they have, but not how much time, so they keep squirreling away money, in case life continues for longer than expected.
I negotiated as part of my exit from Blenheim to take the event and the research material with me. I realised that the trick of the name was to make clear what the show was about without turning off the audience by stressing age. I played with the notion of Health, Wealth and Holidays, as this makes clear the topics, and those topics in the round pre-selects a particular age group.
A seniors’ level of sport was expanding rapidly and the term was less threatening, appeared less ageist. So, we eventually went with Senior Lifestyles.
At this stage the financial organisations were keen to be involved, but who wants to turn up at an event where the main exhibitors are insurance companies, health schemes, pension advisors, funeral advisors and asset release arrangements.
We worked to make it more about home and garden, crafts and hobbies, leisure and holidays, backed by governmental service information. We did get The Times to agree to support the event with a feature and the market-leader Choice magazine was on-board.
However, it never quite reached orbital velocity in terms of space booked and I let it slip into the mists of time.