Leading Age’s annual meeting and expo is one of the premier events for the senior care and living community. 

In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference will offer countless breakout sessions covering a multitude of crucial topics such as diversity in aging, innovative technology in senior living communities, marketing and sales in the post-COVID world, recruiting challenges the industry faces. and new approaches to quality assurance and improvement. Attendees will also have opportunities to network with leading industry professionals and explore cutting-edge products and services at the expo hall. The Leading Age conference is always a valuable opportunity for professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in aging services.

What are this year’s most anticipated events? Read on.

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Keynote: Embracing Failure with Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach’s keynote presentation is on our must-watch list. The Olympian and FIFA World Cup Champion (not to mention all-time international goal scorer for male and female soccer players!) will address the power that comes from our ability to embrace failure. Wambach is the co-founder of WOLFPACK Endeavor, a training program revolutionizing leadership development for women in the workplace and beyond. We’re interested to learn how she takes the lessons of inclusivity, teamwork, and authenticity that she has embraced in her sports career and applies those lessons to leadership in the senior living and care space. 

We’re also looking forward to the Award of Honor Presentation to James Bernardo of Presbyterian Senior Living at the end of this session.

Keynote: Building Empathy with Jamil Zaki

Dr. Zaki is the Director of Stanford’s Social Neuroscience Lab as well as a professor of psychology at the prestigious school. His research examines social cognition and behavior, with a research interest in empathy. His work explores the impact that profound empathy can have in business, politics, and the personal sphere. Empathetic leadership creates compassionate work culture, builds creativity, and bridges differences in a divided world. We’re looking forward to his keynote presentation and how he applies his work to the world of senior care leadership.

While we have these keynotes on our calendar, below are a few sessions that caught our interest. They're a combination of marketing, recruiting, and community engagement topics that sparked our interest. If we missed a session that's on your calendar, please share in the article's comment section.

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Operations

Within senior living organizations, the Community Marketing and Operations Teams are integral to creating a successful life plan community. While the Marketing Team gathers information on consumer values and how to meet them, the Operations Team is responsible for executing on those promises and fulfilling the mission of the organization. In this upcoming presentation, David  Lewis and Nikki Phillips from Capital Manor, Inc. will share their strategies for promoting communication and collaboration between these two essential departments. Attendees will learn best practices for uniting team members and departments, leading to higher occupancy rates and overall financial gain. Don't miss out on this valuable opportunity to optimize collaboration within your own community.

How to Delight—Not Bore—Consumers

Ready to take your community's customer experience to the next level? We're looking forward to this session from Josh Van Der Berg and Kelsey Pangborn from Wisconsin Masonic Home, Inc. They share their successful and innovative strategies to improve customer/resident/client experiences. From leveraging technology, to utilizing simple ideas with modest resources, these presenters will offer advice on how to make your community stand out and cater to consumer needs. The session will also cover how to incorporate digital services in creating a seamless consumer experience. Join us to learn more about the importance of customer experience in aging services and how you can implement these practices in your own community.

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Using Marketing Strategies to Rev Up Recruitment

Digital marketing provides many outlets of opportunity including online, texting, and social media platforms. The execution of digital marketing efforts must be strategized in order to not only reach your audience but keep them engaged. That's why we have  this session bookmarked: the presenters will explore communities recruiting new employees through digital marketing strategies and hear best practices for reaching potential candidates. Dylan Pattenaude and Mackenzie Hurlbert from Covenant Living Communities and Services will provide tips for how your digital and social strategies can help attract potential candidates that you can use to strongly establish yourself and ultimately rev up recruitment. By building a strong digital marketing presence, your company can reach a wider range of qualified individuals who may not have found your job postings through traditional means. Tune in for more techniques your organization can use to stay ahead in today's competitive job market and attract top talent to join your team.

Engagement Technology: A Post-Pandemic Necessity

In our post-pandemic world, we have a new understanding of need for  human connection and relationships/community. Engagement technology could now be considered a necessary tool for providers of aging services- no longer an unfamiliar apparatus. This session presents technology company perspectives from those  who specialize in engagement software. They’ll break down and define engagement, allowing you to better connect residents to families, friends, and your organization’s team members. We’ll learn about engagement-supported technology options and review best practices for introducing technology-enabled engagement programming. The presenter will also explore recent research that shows the ability of engagement technology to reduce social isolation, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. A provider testimonial will be given of implementing engagement technology in skilled nursing and assisted living environments, including lessons learned during the implementation process and benefits residents reaped.

Hiring Trends: Where We've Been And Where We're Headed

In unprecedented times like these (we're looking at you COVID and "The Great Resignation"), the aging services industry has endured serious challenges. As providers, we must ask ourselves if we’ve fully understood the effect this has had on our senior living communities. In this session,  Myra Norton, CEO and President of Arena Analytics explores hiring trends in today's hiring climate. She will review workforce data from 3.7 million job applicants, over 1,500 senior living communities, thousands of job postings, and more to inspect labor trends. These numbers will provide insight into hiring (current and future)  as well as turnover trends and challenges. The session promises to provide the tools needed to compare trends against personal experience to better prepare for your organization's future.

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