The Baby-boomers are coming to Boston! They are converging from all over the nation for the upcoming AARP National Event & Expo, entitled Life@ 50+, taking place May 8-10, 2014 at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center (BCEC). Organized by the American Association for Retired Persons, Life@ 50+ is a big, boisterous occasion, with three days of events, activities, seminars and products designed especially for this affluent demographic of older Americans.
Life@50+ is an expo show geared to consumers, and admission is only $25 ($35 if you’re not an AARP member). About 15,000 people are expected to attend the expo, and that’s good news for the Massachusetts economy, since older visitors tend to have more disposable money to spend on hotels, restaurants and souvenirs. In Massachusetts, 37% of domestic tourists who visit are age 55 or older, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT).
AARP itself is a formidable organization, with over 37 million members. Nearly 55% of AARP members are college educated, and over 60% enjoy traveling. “That’s one reason why MOTT will have a booth at the expo, where it expects to distribute over 3,000 pieces of literature touting Massachusetts as a vacation destination,” says Strategic Planning Manager Darrell LeMar. Joining MOTT are regional tourism councils from around the state who will help market Massachusetts to visitors from across America.
An A-List of inspirational speakers and entertainers include former First Lady Laura Bush; Boston Marathon heroes Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman; performers Linda Ronstadt, The Moody Blues, Mary Wilson and the Spinners; television personalities Whoopi Goldberg and Massachusetts native Jay Leno; and sports stars like Celtics legend Bill Russell; hockey Olympian Mike Eruzione; NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks Steve Grogan and Dan Marino and former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant.
There’s a strong community-service element to the show as well. On Thursday, May 8, Governor Deval Patrick is joining hundreds of AARP volunteers who are going into Boston’s neighborhoods for a day of service, to help with home and school projects that include landscaping, mentoring, greening projects, community gardens and senior centers.
To the AARP delegates this weekend, we say, welcome, stay awhile and please, come back soon! For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.