The wind and rain reduced attendance at the 2012 Zoomer Show held at the Direct Energy Bldg at Exhibition Place in Toronto on Oct 27, and 28 weekend. Instead of growing larger, attendance was down this year, but only because of Hurricane Sandy.
It was brutal weather outside and only scheduled to get worse in the wake of an oncoming category 1 hurricane. Many people noticed that the parking meters outside the exhibition hall were acting weird because the weather was playing havoc with telecommunications grid, so lots of people endured long waits in the windy lots.
The ZoomerShow is sponsored by Sun Life Financial and is billed as Canada's largest consumer show and lifestyle expo for men and women 45+. There were over two hundred and fifty exhibitors on all subjects related to this age demographic including health, money, travel, lifestyle.
The Zoomer magazine booth was the best place to get free tickets and information and you could also enter a raffle to win a Hong Kong vacation.
The mantra at this show is that if it's hot and it's important, and if it can benefit people age 45+ then it’s welcome at the Zoomer Show!
Zoomers encompass both the Baby Boomers (in Canada, 44-62) and those who are older. It's a vast group of more than 14.5 million and accounts for 44 percent of the population, while controlling more than 70 percent of Canadian wealth.
The population bubble that was the youth market 30 years ago is today, the market I've defined as Zoomers. They were a dominant generation then ... they remain a dominant generation today. - Moses Znaimer
To this author, the notion of Zoomers is a liberation of old age and not an incarceration of disability as it remains for so many Canadians. According to recent census figures released by Stats Canada, our rapidly aging population has prompted a 38 per cent increase in the number of seniors living in nursing homes over the last decade,
A CARP article entitled, Canada's Aging Population Fuels Retirement Home Boom details the upward trend, and states the number of seniors living in a collective dwelling such as a nursing home has increased from 285,370 in 2001 to 393,150 in 2011. The number of seniors living with relatives or non-relatives in a private dwelling has also increased from 285,370 to 393,150 over the same period. The percentages show a slight increase in the # of people living as a couple, from 54 to 56 per cent, and a decrease in the percentage of seniors living alone from 27 per cent to 25 per cent over the last decade. Stats Canada also noted that women aged 65 and older were twice as likely to live alone. The key to staying young is staying fit and making healthy choices and the Zoomer Show is all about showcasing the options.
The ZoomerShow attracts business leaders by showcasing innovation, and dispensing free food samples.
The BioBest yogurt booth at the 2012 Toronto Zoomer Show
Bio Best yogurt was giving away some tasty little cups, and I had free quiche tarts, and biscuits filled with cheese, and breakfast sausages and crepes too. The whole place smelled like food and expensive flat screen televisions; the smell of new electronics, fresh out of the box intermingled with cheese pies perfumed the air. There was Mary Kay cosmetics, Myrtle Beach Vacations and Molly Maid. Toronto cosmetic surgeon Dr Cory Torgerson was on hand with a large display booth filled of great information and attractive attendees. It was a slice of Beverly Hills in his booth.
Dr Natalie Archer was on hand at the 2012 Zoomer Show dispensing Zoom teeth whitening packages
Dr. Natalie Archer DDS was also among the exhibitors opposite the exercise mecca chamber. She had a digital projector shining into her booth on a weird angle so that her logo looked crooked on the backdrop. It was a curious piece of visual marketing, a broken logo is much like a broken smile, and when I asked about it she looked about mischievously and turned the device ninety degrees to shine up on the wall behind her. The powerful projector made her Runnymede Dental Centre logo appear huge on the concrete wall - it was like a gigantic Batman logo in the sky. I'm sure she was hoping none of the event managers were watching her, or maybe she was hoping they were.
Zoomers are good people to connect with, so I bring along a few things for us to connect over and some things they can take away, said Dr Natalie Archer.
Dr Archer was dispensing free Sensodyne toothpaste, tiny green packs of mint flavoured floss and an expensive looking dry mouth remedy. She was also giving coupons for free tooth whitening at both her Rosedale dentist clinic and her Runnymede Hospital location where she is a seniors dentist and has a special part of the hospital that is outfitted with wheelchair lifts and other specialized dental equipment necessary to work on both elderly and special needs patients.
Overall, the 2012 Zoomer Show was down in attendance and at noon on Saturday Oct 27 the event seemed empty in places. Few trade shows can pack the whole venue with people; the Zoomer Show isn't like the Home Show, Food Show or the Auto Show yet, and they cannot fill the entire space with exhibitors and attendees. This attraction only booked approx half of the available space but behold, what diversity of exhibits.
In fairness I must say I’ve never seen such large array of miniature attractions inside a trade show. There were beer gardens, fast food courts and dance parlous and a very spacious best in class dog show complete with bleachers beside a basketball court size canine obstacle course wherein Zoomers matched dogs for prizes. At the far end of the venue there were people playing Pickle Ball which is like tennis without a high velocity projectile.
Zoomers playing pickle ball at the 2012 Toronto zoomershow
Just beyond that, farther down the lane, there was a mass exercise area with huge flat screens showcasing celebrity workouts. And in another corner of the hall there were a dozen old cars on display! At the far west end of the facility there was a huge band shell accommodating over two dozen tribute bands which played all manner of 50s, 60s and 70s radio hits for nostalgic attendees.
For those who did attend the 2012 Zoomer Show, the event was even more exciting because of the increased chances to win raffles and draws. We had a good time.