By Steve Moran

There are 2 significant senior living conferences that have been birthed since I started Senior Living Foresight. I have been able to attend every single one. Senior Living Innovation Forum and SMASH. The founders of both, Michael Owens and Bailey Beeken (respectively), have become close friends.

Here are some random highlights from SMASH 2021:

  1. The best swag bags and room drops hands down!
  2. It is the one conference in the industry that is focused on bringing in experts from outside the industry to push our thinking.
  3. For all the great content, connecting and hanging out with friends is the very best part.
  4. The next best part is meeting new people and beginning new friendships.
  5. Opportunities for great interviews with operators and partners.
  6. The passion for senior living, for figuring out better ways of serving residents, just oozes from the attendees, both operators and vendors.
  7. As good as we are, there remains a lot of runway ahead of us for getting better. We still struggle with both sophistication and with the basics.
  8. There were a handful of new vendors, some with very interesting offerings that will move the industry forward.
  9. The disappearance of 3rd party cookies will have very little impact on senior living operators and vendors, though there will be some impact on conference sponsors.
  10. The future of marketing includes more human-to-human interactions and there will be better tools for scaling these interactions.
  11. People are more interested in outcomes than experiences, meaning that a prospect can have a great interaction with you and still not buy because you don’t provide the outcome they are looking for. The converse is true. They might end up with a terrible interaction and still buy from you because they need what you are offering. (This should be its own article perhaps.) 
  12. Influencer marketing has been around for decades on a national and international stage. With the internet and niche interest groups, it will become increasingly important. Thinking about how you could be the growing older influencer in your local marketplace could pay big dividends for you.

If you were there I would love to hear your thoughts.