By Chris Bradshaw, Principal at BOOMbox Network
So – I’m back from my first What’s Next Boomer Business Summit! Wow! And, what do I know?
- We will definitely go back next year
- Serendipity is the best part of events like this
- There is a huge opportunity in our space, and lots of folks were interested in what we are doing
I’ll stay at only three, since I could go on. I met wonderful people, have more people I’d like to meet now and believe many of those meetings will turn into business for us, or partnerships. There is so much to share – data and statistics and trends and just plain wonderful insights, that I will be doing a few blogs on this event over the next few weeks. I can’t believe the conference only lasted one day!
A few insights and statistics – just to give you an idea of it all:
- 31% of the independent workers out there are boomers (according to Gene Zaino, President/CEO of MBO Partners)
- Boomers use their technology as tools (no frivolity here!) and 83% use a mobile phone, per Candace Corlett, President of WSL Strategic Retail, and they use their mobile for:
- 53% for directions
- 45% to take pictures
- 45% to do price comparisons
- 60% of ALL consumer spending is by boomers (AARP stats)
- From Myrna Blyth, Editor-in-Chief of ThirdAge.com
- Ages 50-55 is the low point in female happiness (menopause, anyone?)
- Our 50’s are known as the “filler 50’s” due to all the botox and collagen we buy
Jody Holtzman, Thought Leader for AARP, spoke about their initiatives and used the term “Longevity Economy” (#longevityecon). If I understood properly – this term is to encompass the value of the boomer market as it ages – larger than many countries! If you are interested in his presentation and all the stats and information, follow this link.
There was a bookstore, which I can’t resist, and I came home with 2 books, which is very restrained for me. I’ll post about them after I read them and give you the Chris’ Notes! Turning Silver into Gold, How to Profit in the new Boomer Marketplace, by Dr. Mary Furlong is the one I’ll be getting to first. Dr Furlong is the founder of the Boomer Summit (in its 9th year) and named “One of its Digital 50 Most Important People” by Time Magazine. I stalked her during the evening cocktail hour and got her to sign the book.
Vibrant Nation, What Boomer Women 50+ Know, Think, Do and Buy, by Stephen Reily and Carol Osborn is the second book. As a female boomer, I look forward to seeing if I and the women I know are captured in their findings. One thing that came out during all the workshops and seminars was how us boomers truly value our individuality!
The highlight of the conference? Sitting at a lunch next to Gail Sheehy, author of Passages in Caregiving. We all remember the impact the original Passages had on our lives, and the culture at large. While speaking on a panel called New Channels to Reach Boomer Women later in the day she mentioned that she collects senior postings on dating websites. She quoted a few and I couldn’t stop smiling. Here’s to sex and dating until we lay down for the last time!