I have kind of been aware of the Environments for Aging conference for several years, but honestly I did not pay much attention to it. That has changed . . .

By Steve Moran

I have kind of been aware of the Environments for Aging conference for several years but honestly I have not paid much attention to it. Then a year or two ago some fans started bugging me about going.  

I still wasn’t quite sure . . .

Then two things happened:

  1. I became severely disenchanted with one of the speciality conferences I had been attending.

  2. When I started looking at what else to attend, I discovered the EFA conference was being held in Las Vegas, which is a very short flight for me to a place where hotel costs are not unreasonable.

The Conference

The conference consists of 4 groups of people:

  1. Architects and interior designers

  2. Senior living owners and operators

  3. Vendors

  4. The rest of us

The biggest group, by far, were the architects and interior designers.

Key Takeaways

There will be several content articles coming from the event, so this is more an “impressions” and “why you you should consider attending” overview.

  • It was a very friendly group of people. I am guessing this is what you should expect from a bunch of creatives.

  • I went into the event expecting a lot of “look at my pretty buildings” and “look at my pretty interiors”. It was fascinating because there was almost none of that. There was an underlying assumption that everyone there . . . everyone who presented did beautiful work.  

    Instead it was all about how do we design buildings and spaces that will give residents, family members and team members an incredible experience each and every day. This in concert with how do we design spaces and buildings that support the programmatic goals (and financial constraints) of owners and operators.

  • Every time I go to big national conferences I find myself less and less attracted to the 60- and 90-minute breakout sessions because they tend to be be refreshed versions of the same old 101 level content. There is nothing wrong with this exactly — especially for those who are fairly new to the industry — but it is not so great for those who already know the 101 stuff pretty well.

    I found consistently, the breakout sessions even though only an hour long provided a really deep dive into topics that were really helpful to owners and operators as well as architects and interior designers.

  • From an operations perspective there was real evidenced-based meat on how to create better experiences and more efficiencies.  

This should be on your priority list for conferences to attend in 2018.