Welcome to Bridge the Gap with hosts Josh Crisp and Lucas McCurdy. A podcast dedicated to inform, educate and influence the future of housing and services for seniors. Bridge the Gap aims to help shape the culture of the senior living industry by being an advocate and a positive voice of influence which drives quality outcomes for our aging population.

2024 NIC Spring Conference Preview with Lisa McCracken

“Insights into action” is the theme for the 2024 NIC Spring Conference and we hear an insider’s preview of topics and sessions to expect from Lisa McCracken, Head of Research and Analytics at NIC.


We can all talk about the data that's out there in the research, but how can it help us move forward to some meaningful impact and change?

Lisa McCracken

Guest on This Episode

Josh Crisp

Owner & CEO Solinity

Josh Crisp is a senior living executive with more than 15 years of experience in development, construction, and management of senior living communities across the southeast.

Learn More

Lucas McCurdy

Owner & Founder The Bridge Group Construction

Lucas McCurdy is the founder of The Bridge Group Construction based in Dallas, Texas. Widely known as “The Senior Living Fan”.

Learn More

Lisa McCracken

Learn More

The innovation labs are a different level of formatting and it's a nice marrying of the educational and the networking components.

Quick Overview of the Podcast

“Insights into action” is the theme for the 2024 NIC Spring Conference and we hear an insider’s preview of topics and sessions to expect from Lisa McCracken, Head of Research and Analytics at NIC.

Register for the NIC Spring Conference.

Bridge the Gap is a proud media sponsor of NIC.

Produced by Solinity Marketing.

Become a BTG sponsor.

Listen to more episodes here.

Here's a Glance at the Episode

Links From The Video

No items found.

Sponsors of The Video

Prefer to Read?

Download the Transcript

Welcome to season seven of Bridge The Gap, a podcast dedicated to informing, educating, and influencing the future of housing and services for seniors. Powered by sponsors Accushield, Aline, NIC MAP Vision, ProCare HR, Hamilton CapTel, Service Master, Patriot Angels, The Bridge Group Construction and Solinity. And produced by Solinity Marketing.

Lucas 00:53

Welcome to Bridge The Gap podcast, the senior living podcast with Josh and Lucas, on a great episode about the 2024 NIC Spring conference. We've got Lisa McCracken, Head of Research and Analytics at NIC. Welcome to the show.

Lisa 1:08

Hi guys, thanks for having me. We're excited about the conference, so appreciate the opportunity to chat about it.

Lucas 1:13

We are too and congratulations on your new and exciting role at NIC. We know you from another great company, Ziegler, very excited about this transition and we'd love to hear some of your thoughts as we are coming into the spring conference. I've heard the phrase "insights in action." We'd love to hear you unpack that for us.

Lisa 1:37

October 1st was my start date with NIC this past fall, and I think that was just a couple weeks before the NIC Fall conference. Super excited to to look ahead to March to our spring conference and "insight into actions," which is what you referenced. It's a little different as some of the longtime attendees know in terms of some of the focus from our full conference. So we really try to structure the theme, the agenda, the topic, the speakers that we bring in are really around some of these actionable insights and some of the themes around where the industry's headed. There's always going to be that element of, you know, investing in seniors housing and care in the capital markets. And you'll see some of that on our agenda too. But when we look at, you know, where do we need to be going from a healthcare partnership standpoint and the skilled nursing headwinds that are out there, what do we need to do to be successful? How can we adopt technologies that are going to be at the forefront of moving us forward? What do the boomers want? These are the types of things that you see on this agenda at the main stage as well as the innovation labs that we have, which is unique to the spring conference.

Josh 2:40

Me and Lucas and our teams always look forward to spring and fall NIC events. As exciting as the main stage is, everybody rushes in there to try to get a seat anytime there's anything going on. The main stage, honestly, it's magic what happens in the networking lounges and that's what so many people travel from all over the world to come in for these events. So for the attendees, what is this year going to be maybe similar or what are some things that are going to be different for the attendees that are walking around?

Lisa 3:14

Yeah, so we really try to be intentional around both. The educational and session elements of the main stage and the innovation labs, which I talked about, but also the networking components of that. So we have these networking lounges, which are very much dedicated towards intentional meetings. That's a big part of the NIC culture and so forth. But we have our evening networking receptions that's going to be, you know, on Tuesday or Wednesday evening. It's a great way to connect with folks in a social environment. But then outside of that, NIC's always just a great meeting place for different, what I'll call cohorts. So we've got the women's networking reception, which is March is a great time and women's history month to do that. So some special things there. We really try to pay attention to first time attendees. So we will have a first time attendee networking session. I know we've got some things for our future leaders that are part of the NIC ecosystem. We've got a number of different meetings that are happening, NIC Academy. I would encourage folks to really take advantage of that. The educational sessions and content is great, but the networking and the relationships that you make from a connection standpoint are a big key to the success of coming away from the conference.

Josh 4:21

So you also mentioned the innovation labs for, you know, the listener out there or maybe somebody that's watching this, what can they expect from the innovation lab?

Lisa 4:32

So they are different in structure. We're very intentional around that. One of the things that we've got from feedback is that, "Hey, you know, these big stages in the big great room is awesome and there's a lot of great energy there, but you know, we'd love some opportunities around some of these topic areas to maybe have a smaller group, a little more maybe workshop interactive type of of setup." So that's what the innovation labs are. I think you're going to be seeing at, at our events some more of that, particularly in March. So we will have the main stage sessions, but then at at off times when you're not in the main stage, you have the opportunity to do some deeper dives into topics like the middle market, technology, I referenced boomers, we're going to be hitting active adult in a smaller setting. It allows for greater interaction. I think just a different level of formatting and it's probably a really nice marrying of the educational and the networking components.

Josh 5:21

I love the, the title "Insights to Action" and there is so much going on outside of our industry that directly or indirectly we're at a very interesting time and NIC is always so on point with really having a great understanding of what is happening outside of senior housing that impacts senior housing and those insights. What a way that we can come and network and learn and hear data points that can be put into action. So with that kind of mindset, what are some of the big themes that you've centered main stage innovation and some of these insights around that's going on?

Lisa 6:03

So one of the big goals that we've been trying to do is we use the term "expanding the tent." We could easily just stay in our senior housing and care bubble and all of our typical folks and there's a lot of great thought leaders and and experts out there and we rely on those folks very heavily. But where can we again, expand with some additional folks from either adjacent sectors, overlapping sectors that really have some perspective and things to contribute on this front from a thought leadership standpoint. So a couple, you know, that I will comment on, we will have a retail health panel. We're super excited about that and we'll be doing some releases with some of those names in the future. We keep some of that tucked away and then do a big splash with that. But our friends from the Milken Institute, who we've partnered with on some research or the conveners for that, and they've got some pretty deep relationships on that front.

Lisa 6:52

So we know that we've seen a lot of focus on seniors and older adults in care for those individuals from some big players, whether it's a CVS Health or a Walgreens or a Best Buy or Amazon. So we're goning to try to weave in some of that perspective as well. Again, where's the puck going? Technology's going to be doing that as well. We've got a great lineup on the tech side of things and it's people who know our sector but are going to really push us to think differently. I think that's a big part of this insights into action. We can all, you know, talk about some of the data that's out there in the research, but how can it help us move forward to some meaningful impact and change? The middle market's another one that's not a new one for us, but our narrative is really trying to advance the ball around not just how many there are and the need and the demand, but some real solutions. So we're goning to be bringing forth some really great examples of ways to potentially scale housing and care for that cohort from an income standpoint. So those are some examples that come to mind, but we really try to push ourself. Our committee that helps us pull this together, pushes us to really think critically with that. Our co-chairs who are coming back again this year for the second time, Colleen Blumenthal and Peter Longo have done a great job of really helping us curate those sessions.

Josh 8:08

Lucas, I can't wait to get in your hometown of Dallas and while I'm listening to Lisa talk, I'm just sitting here thinking ROI for the folks that invest the time, take away from their busy schedules, invest the time and the money to go to this event, it is absolutely packed. You're goning to get so much out of it. We always do, right?

Lucas 8:30

That's right. And Dallas is a great location and you said a phrase there, Lisa, that I can't let you go without at least a final word here. You said, "Where is the puck going?" And so in 2024 I know, and maybe we want to leave people on the edge of their seat to come to the NIC conference to hear more about that, but I know that there's a lot of time in between spring and fall. Are there ways that NIC are able to partner more on a long-term basis with investors and operators to help them with their modeling? Or where is the puck going this year? Are there ways that people can engage on a longer term?

Lisa 9:10

In between the spring and fall we do have our Data Analytics Conference in May last year. That was in September. That's sort of a middle of the road for folks that wanted to dive deeper into some of that. But one of the things that we're really advancing is our volunteer engagement as well. So the same day I started, we hired a Director of Volunteer engagement to really build up those committees and have folks be more involved. At the same time, the door is wide open and we invite folks to reach out to us to have those conversations of "where is the puck going?" You know, we're doing a lot of speaking engagements at conferences and getting a lot of requests, quite frankly from individual organizations that are saying, "Can you sort of share with us what research you've done? What you see is where the industry is headed." That's really where NIC needs to be positioned, is helping advance the sector and really move it in some meaningful ways. There's engagement at the conferences, there's the volunteer engagement, there's following our newsletters and what we're doing, but then there's making some of those connections with our staff and our team.

Lucas 10:08

Well, we're excited about that and we will have our studio set up at the conference interviewing so many of the thought leaders that are there to expand upon a lot of the topics that we're covering today. And so, Josh, any final thoughts before we let Lisa get back?

Josh 10:23

Well, it's just always been an amazing partnership and allowing us to be there sharing the wealth of information and thought leadership that really NIC attracts and that is what I have loved so much. And if I don't get to another event every year, I always make sure I'm at NIC because the who's, who's going to be there and the forward thinkers. And to be honest, where we are in an industry, as an industry, things are really changing. It's much better when you put great minds together. It's amazing how much more we can do. So I'm excited for NIC I'm excited for our industry. I'm excited for the content that our listeners are going to hear. So Lisa, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today.

Lisa 11:06

Well, thank you guys for having me and for the the long-term partnership you guys have had with NIC. So we're excited about Dallas, but one thing I will say is that I was trying to look up average temperatures. All I know is Dallas is warmer than what New York, Chicago, any of those others the first week of March. So it'll be a nice balmier environment full of all the energy that you guys referenced. So thanks for allowing me to be here today.

Lucas 11:30

Absolutely, Lisa McCracken, we appreciate your time today and for those of you listening that would like to learn more about the NIC Conference and Lisa, we'll make sure that we connect all of those links in the show notes in your podcast player. You can also go to btgvoice.com, download this content and so much more. Thanks everybody for listening to another great episode of Bridge The Gap.


Thanks for listening to Bridge The Gap podcast with Josh and Lucas. Connect with the BTG network team and use your voice to influence the industry by connecting with us at btgvoice.com.

Wanna Jump to Your Favorite Topic?

Subscribe To The Show Today

©2023 Bridge the Gap Network | Powered by Solinity Marketing