March 27, 2008 - Washington, DC - The fifth annual What’s Next Boomer Business Summit gave the attendees a dynamic vision of the future, It brought together in the aging field thoughtful leaders, authors, researchers, caregivers, media, corporate and entrepreneurial innovators interested in advancing their understanding of this market and raising the bar in developing products and services to address the needs of the aging baby boomers.
For the hundreds of attendees, the conference highlighted five major areas:
1. Research and data provided insight and direction about the boomer market. In addition, the attendees learned about living healthy, financial services, reducing stress, mobile marketing and housing challenges for the boomer generation.
2. Innovation segments focused on how businesses large and small are creating new products and services in technology, healthcare, cognitive areas and mobile marketing.
3. Entrepreneurship provided insight to launch and grow a business.
4. Digital and mobile media strategy demonstrated how businesses will create new media and marketing strategies to build a customer base.
5. Brand and cause related marketing for good centered on brand leaders’ developing programs that build business while they give back to their communities.
Among the many diverse sponsors were AARP, AARP Services, Retirement Living TV, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, Yahoo, Qualcomm, American Express, Decision Street, Hipcricket, The Stress Institute, Phonak, LiveWorld, Southwest and Springboard. The value of the disseminated information was summed up by one of the attendees who told me, “The exchange of information will result in acquired knowledge about best practices in reaching the boomer generation.”
I have attended aging conferences before. But none of them provided the topic versatility, the excitement that the boomer market provided and the knowledge thirst that the attendees savored. The attendees were targeted on
More than a dozen people stopped me and asked me questions about assistive technology and how it could be applied to assistive living environments. I listened as they described the situations and then made suggestions.
Three times I was asked, “Do you know of any AT products that can reduce stress?”
I gave the best answers that I could.
People wanted to know about alarm systems, telecommunications products, CCTVs, voice controlled environments, text-to-speech products, alternative keyboards, games for cognitive challenges, smart appliances and smart homes.
I know that if the telecommunications’ companies want to provide services to the boomer population their phones need to be simpler to operate, provide better voice clarity and larger and clearer screens.
I was asked numerous times, “Do you know of any products that can help reduce healthcare costs?”
Again, I offered suggestions when I thought they were helpful.
Rising healthcare costs are serious financial concerns to boomers and many of them are not retiring because of high healthcare costs. Once again, the callous healthcare industry is forcing people to alter their retirement plans. This situation is abdominal and this country must challenge the politicians who support the health care industry who do not want to be regulated and the people must rise up non-violently and demand a reduction in the exorbitant costs of healthcare in this country. AARP and other aging organizations should lead this charge in unison.
Mary Furlong & Associates produced the conference. Furlong is recognized internationally as one of the most knowledgeable leaders in marketing to boomers. She showed her knowledge, skills, abilities and foresight yesterday. She did an excellent job. The conference was as smart and as vivacious as she is. She scored a bull’s eye!