The ARCO What Next? 2024 Conference

Thank you for joining the UK's pivotal Integrated Retirement Community Conference  
Thank you to all that attended ARCO's What Next? 2024 Conference.
We were thrilled to welcome over 440 experts representing over 180 leading organisations from across the Housing-with-Care sector, to our 8th Annual Conference and Knowledge Exchange Day, and bring together once again, relevant, insightful and varied voices to this year's event.

On Wednesday 3 July, we were delighted to welcome and hear from 40 speakers and IRC residents that participated and shared their expertise in this year's sessions.

The Knowledge Exchange Day, on 4 July, offered the opportunity to delegates to attend and participate in a variety of workshops delivered by 17 expert speakers that addressed relevant and current issues for our sector.

We want to thank everyone that has supported and taken part on this event.

If you were unable to purchase tickets this year, you can now join our mailing list and receive communications when tickets go on sale for the 2025 ARCO Conference, by emailing
[email protected]

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What Next? 2024 Conference 
Keynote Speaker

ARCO's Keynote Speaker for the What Next? 2024 ARCO Annual Conference was Freelance Journalist, Peter Ward.

Peter is a British journalist and author who writes about technology, science, and occasionally true crime. He reported on the energy sector in the Middle East before earning a degree in business journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. His first book The Consequential Frontier explored the privatisation of space and his most recent, The Price of Immortality, investigated the pursuit of eternal life, the science of ageing, and the consequences of an extended lifespan. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, GQ, The Economist, Wired, BBC Science Focus, and Inverse.

Peter Ward spoke on the main conference day on 3 July and reflected on what he has learned about ageing through his research into the quest for immortality.

“There are many reasons to enjoy the conference including engagement opportunities and providing a platform to discuss lessons learned from different stakeholders, I  love to see the sector come together to work towards continual improvement, collaboratively”
What Next? 2023 Delegate
“The variety and composition of the conference was really well thought out and stimulating. Great speakers, contributors, and topics. As always, the day was superbly organised as well!”
What Next? 2023 Delegate
What Next? 2024 
Main Conference Day Programme
This year’s programme under the title of Building Tomorrow: Creating Housing and Care Options for All, focused on the key factors underpinning both sector growth and operational excellence, through these sessions.
Welcome and ARCO Chair's Address
ARCO's Chief Executive and ARCO Chair provided a welcome and introduction to the conference and the programme.

The Political outlook - what tomorrow's result could mean for the future?
Major policy and political changes are expected with the imminent arrival of a new government. This session explored how these changes will affect IRCs, what the next government will need from the sector and how ARCO is influencing the agenda.

Setting the parameters for growth: getting on top of the data
The IRC sector’s expansion will depend on operators being able to offer attractive products that customers can afford (and investors will fund). This session explored some of the affordability and operational parameters that will be key in attracting the customers of the future, and how a data driven approach will underpin sustainable growth.

How the new filial piety in Asia is the driving force behind a US$4.56 Trillion silver economy
Ageing requires a mindset shift, enablement is the new black in the business of ageing. The traditional notions of filial piety to “look after and do things for them” is gradually changing in Asia. The new philosophy of filial piety - Age with Laughter brings smiles to seniors - is about enabling older people to age as independently as possible, supporting them with the right products and services for ageing-in-place and creating opportunities to age with purpose.

Ageing without Children - How are people without 'traditional' support networks navigating later life?
The number of people in the UK over 65 without adult children is set to rise from over 1.2 million at the present time to 2 million by 2030. Many more are also living far away from their children, relatives and other family support networks, meaning that over time there will be a greater reliance on formal support and care services. This session explored how older people without ‘traditional’ support networks are tackling the challenges and opportunities of older age to enable them to access the support in later life if and when they need it.  

The Price of Immortality - the unintended consequences of living longer
As longevity medicine revolutionises the lives of many older people, the quest to take the next step—to live as long as we choose—has spurred a scientific arms race, funded by Big Tech and Silicon Valley, in search of the elixir of life. Once the stuff of Mesopotamian mythology and episodes of Star Trek, as the pace of technological progress quickens, proposals to make humans immortal are becoming increasingly credible. In his most recent book, The Price of Immortality, journalist Peter Ward investigated this pursuit of eternal life and in this session, Peter reflected on what his research has taught him about the science of ageing, how humans deal with death and the (potentially unintended!) consequences of an extended lifespan.

Age Irrelevance - a year on
Following the launch of Age Irrelevance in 2023 - a legacy of the late Baroness Sally Greengross - we hear about the development of the movement to reimagine life’s horizons in the era of longevity.

How to grow the sector: Hearing from experts by experience
In this session, we heard from people living in integrated retirement communities and their views on what is needed to help the sector fulfil its potential: how can awareness be increased among the public, policymakers and stakeholders alike, and what needs to happen to bring retirement communities into the mainstream?

Legal updates on the IRC sector: what you need to know,
and what it means for you
This session provided an overview of what recent changes in legislation and regulation mean for operators in the IRC sector, and how the regulatory landscape might evolve in the future.

Is intergenerational living the key to wellbeing for all?
We are now seeing more operators of IRCs building intergenerational aspects into their offer from the get-go. Whether that is integrating with a local nursery group, dedicated IRC units within a larger general residential offer or living alongside medical students as they train. This session explored the key benefits of intergenerational activities and hear first-hand from operators on why this is key in building happy and vibrant communities.

Mature market mastery: lessons from NZ
The New Zealand Retirement Village sector is 20 years ahead of the UK’s and benefits from a thriving mid-market and a better customer awareness of what IRCs offer. Following the return of an ARCO Member delegation to visit and learn more about the market and operators in New Zealand, the group shared key observations, lessons and insight on what we might want to consider for the UK.

Operator update: The new rental assisted living offer at St George’s Park
We heard from St George’s Park chief executive on how its new offering of rental ‘assisting living’ units has been accepted by customers, and the reason behind offering an alternative sitting between its leasehold retirement village (with 240 units) and its on-site care homes.

Operator update: The Thrive Collective’s new customers proposition in Chester

Retirement Villages Group’s new IRC in Chester is testing new ground, with a lease structure which will see customers receiving a guaranteed sum on resale, a cap on ongoing fees after a unit has been vacated and a subsidised monthly fee. We heard from Retirement Village Group’s chief executive on how the offer was developed and early feedback from customers.

The Wrap up 2024: Michael Voges, Chief Executive ARCO  

The ARCO Annual Drinks Reception

The Drinks Reception is an exclusive event to all delegates that attended on Wednesday 3 July.

This year's ARCO Annual Drinks Reception was kindly supported by Amba, ARCO Affiliate

“I always love the setup and friendly feel, the venue is great - the networking in the breaks is always the highlight as is the drinks reception. The sessions were really informative and insightful.”
What Next? 2023 Delegate
The Knowledge Exchange Day

The Knowledge Exchange Day offers delegates the chance to explore in-depth specific topics through various workshops delivered by leading sector experts and is highly recommended for those wanting greater insight into the Housing-with-Care sector after the main conference day. Each delegate has the opportunity to attend up to four workshops from the list below.

You can find below this year's sessions.
What Next? 2024 Workshops

Planning for IRCs: Policy priorities for the next government

A new government is expected to adopt a new approach to planning policy. As ARCO prepares to brief incoming Ministers, what should be the planning policy priorities for the IRC sector?

Iain Warner from Tetlow King and ARCO's James Lloyd discussed this how things could change with a renewed emphasis on increasing delivery of IRCs and the day to day planning implications.

Making Senior Living More Affordable for all: What the UK can learn from NZ

The seniors housing concept was proven in New Zealand by first addressing the mid-market, and is now starting to address the premium market. The UK IRC market is seeing the inverse, the concept is being proven by the premium product, with the mid-market yet to be cracked. Despite this inversion, there are lessons to be learnt from the New Zealand market which we can adopt in the UK to aid the sector’s development. In particular, having a clear understanding of the metrics that feed into affordability and tailoring a product that meets that criteria. The Knight Frank research team delved deeper into the data.

Ageing in place for Retirement Living operators

By embracing holistic wellbeing strategies, leveraging advanced technology, and implementing personalised care plans, retirement living operators can significantly enhance the quality of life for their residents. This seminar provided actionable insights and practical tools to help your community thrive, ensuring that residents can age in place with dignity, independence, and fulfilment. Join us in taking these steps forward to create a brighter future for retirement living.

Construction and Building Safety - where are we now?

As the Building Safety Act 2022 regime comes fully into force, this workshop addressed the latest challenges in construction, building and fire safety for the IRC sector at the development and operational phases – and how IRC operators can ensure they are meeting the highest standards.

Raising the Bar for IRCs

ARCO and leading IRC operators discussed the comprehensive regulations and high standards that IRCs must meet, [including consumer regulation, care and housing standards and more]. The also explored the challenges faced and share successful strategies to ensure excellence in integrated retirement living.

Sharing best practice for increasing sales velocity

Equip yourself with essential best practice skills and techniques to optimise your occupancy rates and boost revenue. This workshop covers the critical two areas of generating quality leads and converting them efficiently. Ideal for operators and investors seeking improved sales rates and better IRR. How to enhance your approach, reduce stress, and achieve superior results from award-winning later living expert, Ali Powell from Commercial Acceleration.

Energy regulation and net-zero carbon IRCs

In this workshop, legal and sustainability experts discussed the issues arising from decarbonisation, ESG, and energy regulation and supply in the IRC sector, including the experience of developing IVG’s Millfield Green net zero retirement community.

Better Connectivity. Better Senior Living

In the age of digital transformation, residents’ wellbeing is crucial. Wifinity, a managed internet service provider to Anchor, discovers how smarter connected technology can transform care delivery, empowering independent living. Our session covered operational solutions, scalable care models, and effective collaboration with managed service providers.

Ageing Without Children and Retirement Communities

The concept of the nuclear family, with man, woman and 2.4 children, is increasingly outdated – there are rising numbers of people ageing without children, far more blended families where families are formed from children from previous relationships, and increasing numbers of LGBT+ relationships and families.

Coupled with the fact that we are living longer as a society, this means that there is a changing need for housing solutions that support those without families, and that this is only going to increase.

This workshop explored

- What does this group of people look like now, and what will they look like in the future?
- What will their needs and aspirations be, regarding their health, finances, wellbeing and community involvement?
- What are the opportunities for operators of retirement communities to support them?

Tech in the superageing societies of Asia

With the challenges (and opportunities) of demographic change higher up the agenda in many Asian countries, the use of technology in health and care is more innovative than in the UK. This session looks at some of the trends and innovations coming out of these markets, and offered the opportunity for a discussion on whether we might see similar developments over here.
“As a first-time attendee, I was genuinely impressed by the depth of knowledge and expertise shared throughout the conference. The discussions and presentations left me feeling motivated and inspired by the vast opportunities our sector offers”
What Next? 2023 Delegate
 Join the mailing list
If you want to receive information about the next ARCO What Next? Conference, please contact [email protected] and request to be added to the mailing list
“These two days have further solidified my commitment to supporting the team in raising awareness of the IRC sector within the wider UK society. I firmly believe in the positive impact that the IRC option can have on individuals' lives, and I look forward to contributing to the cause”
What Next? 2023 Delegate
Thank you to our
What Next? 2024 
Conference Sponsors

We want to thank this year's Sponsors for their support of this event and their ongoing contribution and commitment to the Integrated Retirement Community sector.

“These two days have further solidified my commitment to supporting the team in raising awareness of the IRC sector within the wider UK society. I firmly believe in the positive impact that the IRC option can have on individuals' lives, and I look forward to contributing to the cause”
What Next? 2023 Conference Sponsor
See who attended the
What Next? 2024

At our sold-out event last year, we were delighted to welcome over 440 experts representing over 170 leading organisations from across the
Housing-with-Care sector, and bring together once again relevant, insightful and varied voices to this event.
If you want see who attended last year's conference please follow this link.
“As a new Affiliate it was fascinating to get such a well rounded insight into IRCs both in terms of the positives but also the challenges”
What Next? 2023 Delegate
A look back at the 
2024 Conference Photo Gallery

"(The) Resident panel was really powerful and makes you remember why we do what we do
What Next? 2023 Delegate
Contact us
If you have any questions regarding the conference please contact the ARCO Events Team:

Telephone: 020 3697 1204
[email protected]

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