2018 Senior Helpers Conference Recap
Senior Helpers provides home healthcare services to seniors ranging from driving assistance, household chores to full service assistance specializing in Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Over 320 attendees gathered for the annual conference held on September 13th – 16th at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch. The Hyatt, which offers stunning views of the St. Louis Arch directly across the street, was the perfect venue to host our group in the Gateway City. This was Xplor, Inc.’s fifth year coordinating the Senior Helpers conference.
The conference began on Thursday evening with the standard Vendor Expo and Welcome Reception. Except this year there was nothing standard about it! The expo, an event designed to bring franchisees and vendors together, had a fresh look and a new name: the Blues, Brews, & BBQ Sponsor Expo. In between talking to vendors, attendees milled around, listening to blues music and sampling craft beers from local brewery Schlafly. And the food…oh the food! The Xplor team worked with the hotel catering staff to create a custom menu for the event, and we even heard that the chef is going to keep our menu on hand for future events. Here’s a sample of some of the culinary delights served at the expo (see if you can find a running theme):
- BBQ-rubbed salmon
- Garlic-rubbed flat bread with beer-braised tomato jam
- Mascarpone polenta
- 48-hour beer-brined brisket
- Three-cheese beer mac and cheese
- Jalapeno-cheddar hushpuppies with beer-infused hot and sweet BBQ sauce
- Chocolate beer cake trifle with caramel and fresh cream
- Slow-smoked pork shoulder
- Beer-braised burnt-end baked beans
- Brioche with beer-mustard BBQ sauce
- Beer can turkey
The sponsor expo continued on Friday morning during breakfast to give the franchisees one last chance to connect with key Senior Helpers partners. The franchisees didn’t know it, but they were in for a treat as the General Session started with a surprise musical appearance—CEO Peter Ross performing on the piano! Peter played a personal piece, followed by WC Handy’s song St. Louis Blues, accompanied by a fantastic blues band. The performance left every attendee impressed and asking for musical interludes to be a part of all future general sessions. After lunch, attendees broke up for an afternoon of breakout sessions.
For the evening’s entertainment, some franchisees opted to purchase tickets for a private viewing of the St. Louis Cardinals at the AT&T Rooftop.
To kick things off on Saturday morning, another surprise awaited the attendees. Everyone had been kept in the dark about the morning’s guest. There was a buzz around the building which lead people to asking who or what the surprise could be. It was The Music Paradigm! The Music Paradigm is an engaging and unforgettable learning experience. The audience member become participants and are seated within a live professional orchestra where they can observe highly trained musicians as they perform. The participants’ attention is drawn to fascinating and unexpected organizational dynamics within the orchestra. People soon realize, however, that The Music Paradigm is much more than a riveting demonstration. The Music Paradigm is an experience that attendees will never forget. It was an engaging example of how to meet your goals, create opportunities, and deal with challenges. We heard multiple attendees say that this was the most effective group experience they’ve seen. Lunch followed the inspiring performance, during which attendees talking amongst themselves, sharing how they will apply what they learned from Music Paradigm to their business.
After lunch the group continued with breakouts for the rest of the afternoon. Following the breakouts was the much anticipated Red Carpet Affair Reception, Red Carpet Affair Dinner, and Red Carpet Affair After Party. The CEO of Senior Helpers, Peter Ross, and the Senior Vice President of Operations, Mari Baxter, hosted the event and did an amazing job. Everyone enjoyed a fabulous dinner and awards were presented awards after the main course. The dinner concluded with the big announcements of the locations for the 2019 President’s Club (Ireland) and 2019 Conference (Dallas).
The 2018 conference drew to a close with everyone letting loose and having fun at the After Party, held on the top floor of the Hyatt. Attendees danced on a lit dance floor with the glowing St. Louis Arch for a backdrop.
As people began to make their way home on Sunday, everyone agreed that this was the best conference yet. Expectations are high for the 2019 conference in Dallas, TX, but Xplor, Inc. is ready for the challenge!