The conference trend clearly was toward property-casualty
By ara c. trembly
Long before “The Sixth Sense” made the phrase “I see dead people” part of the popular lexicon, Hollywood foisted a variety of deceased menaces–zombies, vampires, revivified cadavers (or parts thereof), ghosts, mummies, scary voices from the beyond–upon an apparently all-too-willing movie-going public.
Have you noticed, though, that in most cases when it comes to plain old dead people who have yet to step onto the celestial elevator, we in the audience can see and hear them, but those in the film who are alive usually can’t? Remember how the dead Patrick Swayze couldn’t really communicate with his still-living love interest Demi Moore in “Ghost,” at least until the Righteous Brothers started belting out “Unchained Melody” with such force that it must have shattered the barrier between here and the nether world? Now those boys could really sing!
Anyhow, I couldn’t help thinking that I, too, was seeing dead people walking when I observed the trade show booths of some exhibitors at the recent ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum in Orlando. The exhibitors I’m talking about were those who were offering strictly life insurance or annuity-related technology products–some of the same companies who were once the staple of the now-deceased LOMA Insurance Systems Forum.
To be sure, there were individuals manning these booths. These people were well-dressed, articulate, engaging and at least initially, enthusiastic. Yet as I watched them try to draw show traffic into their space, it seemed as if the show-goers took no notice whatever. The booth denizens smiled, waved and hoped, but for all their efforts, they might as well have been ghosts. For the most part, those in the aisles stayed there or flocked to p-c oriented booths.
But is the situation really that bad for vendors of life technology products? At ACORD LOMA, apparently it was. A review of the new product introductions at this conference revealed that there were more than twice as many p-c announcements as life/health product intros. At least in the context of ACORD LOMA, p-c tech was grabbing most, if not all, of the attention.
Why should this be? According to more than one life tech vendor, the timing of the ACORD LOMA conference (end of May) is too late in the year for life carriers’ corporate buying planning process (the former LOMA Systems Forum was held in March or April). Another life tech company representative complained that the traffic he was seeing was “mostly other vendors.”