Senior Living CEOs: Plan Now to Attend the 2018 International Builders Show

Jan 13, 2017 | Industry Trends

By Rob Love, President and CEO

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAdBAAAAJDQwMWExZDJkLWNiYTctNGU1Yy05ZDgxLWRkMTRjZGM1NGU2YgAfter spending the last two weeks exploring first the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, then the International Builders Show (IBS) in Orlando, my advice to senior living CEOs is succinct: Don’t even think about attending the CES, and make sure you and key members of your team attend next year’s IBS.

Why should a senior living CEO (along with at least the facilities director and marketing director, in my opinion) attend the IBS? Several reasons.

1.    You will learn about and understand the full potential of incorporating smart home technology into our communities—now.

2.    You will get tremendous exposure to overall trends in home design, style palettes and materials, especially for kitchens and bathrooms.

3.    You will be able to attend educational sessions on trends in aging-in-place products and services.

4.    You will learn about trends in design and sales of 55+ homes, which I believe can become increasing competitors for senior living in the years to come.

5.    In short, you will see and learn things you will never see at LeadingAge state or national conferences.

After going the first time, I would then recommend that CEOs and marketers attend the show at least once every three years or so, to stay on top of trends, while facilities directors may go more often.

My biggest takeaway from both conferences is that, from a smart home perspective, most of our senior living communities are standing still while the rest of the housing industry is surging forward at an accelerating pace. While there have been many advances in smart home technology over the past several years, the biggest impact by far has come from Amazon’s Alexa (the personalization of its Echo product line), with Google’s Nest technology coming in second. Both systems integrate with a wide variety of smart home products, and make controlling the products as simple as giving a verbal command, such as, “Alexa, please lower the blinds.”

The key to successfully “integrating” smart home technology into your community: The primary advice given by contractors at the IBS conference was consistent: Engage a good “home automation integration company,” or “smart home systems integration company,” in your market area. Contract for the expertise; it will speed up the process and be well worth it.

As for CES? Well, it was kind of fun, but 1) it’s difficult to get accepted to attend, and 2) the focus of the show is on the young, not the aging, so there is not nearly as much to learn.

Want to learn more about the Builders Show? Visit Next year’s show will be right back in Orlando, from January 9 to 11. I hope to see you there!

I hope you have enjoyed following along on my journey to these two conferences as much as I have enjoyed attending them and writing about them. May you all have a prosperous 2017!

For more information about the future of senior living, please contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801, or visit us on our website.

To read my initial thoughts and expectations about the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show and International Builders Show, click here.

To read my thoughts on smart home technology seen at the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

To read my thoughts on wearable technology seen at the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

To read my final thoughts on the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

To read my expectations for the 2017 International Builders Show, click here.

To read my first thoughts on the International Builders Show, click here.

To learn what my favorite product at the International Builders Show was, click here.

To read my final overview and thoughts about my time at both the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show and the International Builders Show, click here.

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