A conversation with Bailey Beeken about why the senior living industry needs another conference.

I can’t remember exactly when I first met Bailey Beeken but it was in the context of her involvement with some senior living conference.  We got to chatting and discovered we had a mutual love of the senior living/post-acute world and an inborn curiosity in two areas:

  1. What makes successful companies and successful leaders?
  2. A deep desire to learn more and to help leaders in the senior living / post-acute world become even better at what they do.

A New Venture

Several months ago Bailey shot me a quick note to tell me she had launched a new company called Validated Learning with the goal of producing a conference that would very specifically help chief marketing officers  become a stronger part of the C suite team in two ways:

  1. By interacting with fellow marketing and sales executives, in senior living, other marketers in skilled nursing and Home Care plus experts from outside the elder care arena.
  2. Provide a ton of “up-to-the-minute” information presented by experts  carefully curated from leading marketing and sales summits.

Her belief is that no senior living marketing executive has the time to attend 10 different marketing events. The end goal is that everybody has the information and tools they need to communicate their message to the right person, at the right time. This all sounded good, but still…

What the Heck?

My first thought was “Another Conference . . .  Oh No!” At the end of last week I got Bailey on the phone to learn more.  My first question for her was why does the industry need another conference?  Here is what she had to say. 1. The Need for a Deeper Dive – If you attend any of the national senior living conferences there will always be an offering of several marketing and sales presentations.  They are presented by real experts in our industry and provide good content.  The problem is that the number of sessions is limited and they tend to be geared primarily toward executive directors and local property marketing directors.   Most of what is presented is already known senior level marketing and sales folks and is already being done by senior living companies of any size. 2.  The World Has Changed –  Just a few years ago hardly anyone went searching for senior living options on the internet.  It was word of mouth, direct mail and newspaper ads.  Today the vast majority of prospects start, and quite often end, their search for senior living options on the internet. This is potentially great news but, as an industry, we are still in the infant stage when it comes to figuring out how to take advantage of this shift. A simple example is the growth of online lead referral companies like Senior Housing Forum partner Caring.com. 3.  Bursting the Bubble –  There are some amazing sales and marketing companies in the senior living industry like Sage Age Strategies and ValueMatch, both Senior Housing Forum Partners that are helping senior living companies leverage the internet.  Ultimately, though,  in order to be at the very top of the game we need to, on occasion, step outside our world . . .  our bubble and look at what other industries are doing that we can translate into new ideas and insights for tackling our own challenges.

Finding Solutions

smash-logoSMASH2014 is a conference that has been very specifically designed to help corporate level senior living marketing executives fully leverage all of the latest thinking, technologies, and social media to better tell their stories to the right people, at the right time. The SMASH2014 sessions will provide a deep dive into how to strategically develop a brand and a marketing and sales strategy using automation and integration as well as the latest in SEO and other digital strategies. Many of the SMASH 2014 experts will come from outside the senior living industry but the summit will also include experts in our industry who are seeing amazing success. Bailey’s goal for the summit is to have senior living executives walk away with the tools they need to create a powerful marketing strategy that is anchored by technology and expanded by a strategic, 30,000 ft view of what others are doing to be and remain competitive and successful. I live and die, eat and breathe, by the internet at Senior Housing Forum, but what scares me most is not just what I don’t know (which is a lot), but it is the things I don’t know that I don’t know.  I will be there so that I can do a better job serving you, my readers.  I hope to see you there too. Steve Moran If you like this article (or even if you don’t) it would be a great honor to have you subscribe to our mailing list HERE