Boomers Swarm Chicago

By Kaitlin Madden 

Chicago opens its arms to Baby Boomers this Friday, for the 7th Annual What’s Next Boomer Business Summit. Sound boring? Not so fast ye’ whippersnappers.

According to the website for Agency Five-0, an over 50 marketing firm, “consumers over age fifty represent $2 trillion in annual income, 2.5 times the discretionary spending power of any other group and a population growth rate 6 times faster than age 18-35. Yet, the strategic sweet spot according to the average marketing brief is around age 32.”


Brent Bouchez, a Founder of Agency Five-0 and a scheduled panelist at Friday’s event, says much of the advertising market “doesn’t get” or “disregards” Boomers- a term Bouchez himself actually dislikes. He believes that marketers expect 50+ adults to act like their parents did at that age, causing much of the current Boomer advertising to be outdated and ineffective. He calls recent crops of pharmaceutical ads directed at the age group “embarrassing.”

Bouchez says marketers fail when they don’t take into account the changing values and lifestyles of the current generation of +50s. For example, Bouchez says today’s Boomers will not be joining the AARP any time soon.

“The word retirement is an evil word in our group,” he says “We’re going to work til we drop. We like it.” And they’ll be spending til they drop too. Unlike their parents’ generation, Bouchez says today’s Boomers “plan to spend their wealth, not hoard it,” or leave it in a will.

Thus, marketers who don’t take into account the new attitudes of the generation risk missing out on a demographic with over $2 trillion in spending power-a statistic that positions Boomers as the most powerful and influential consumers out there.

Find out more about Boomers and their Business Summit, after the jump.

According to the website for the What’s Next Summit,

  • Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964
  • 77 million baby boomers represent 28% of the U.S. population and account for 77% of all financial assets
  • Every 7 seconds someone is turning 50
  • By 2010, 108 million people will be over 45
  • Households headed by someone 40 or older hold 91% of America’s net worth
  • Boomers constitute 35% to 38% of Internet users
  • The caregiving marketplace is $800 billion

    So, if you’re in the market for some Boomers, take note.

    The Summit takes place Friday, March 19, 2010, from 8:30 am – 6:30 pm, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

    There are over 70 experts slated to speak at the event, including:
    Mark Graham, SVP of iVillage
    Gig Barton, VP of Ad Sales at Retirement Living TV
    Marty Bell,Director of Communications and Marketing for the National Aging in Place Council
    Andy Cohen, Founder and CEO of
    Mary Furlong, CEO of Mary Furlong & Associates
    Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of
    Stephen Reily, Founder and CEO of

    For a full list of speakers, and registration information, click here.

    More: Social Networking and Boomers