IBU took over a portion of the exhibition floor with this flying monkey toy, a popular swag item at NAILBA 31.

I’m back home from NAILBA and have to admit that was one of the better events I’ve had the pleasure of covering in recent memory. The only downside was when I walked in the front door of my house and my eight-year-old asked: “Where are the toys?”

Last year I’d made the mistake of stopping by every exhibitor booth and hauling home all sorts of sock puppets and trinkets.

This year: nada. I didn’t even get my picture taken with the Mutual of Omaha python this year and considered pulling the old photo up on my iPhone, but my girl was on to me—I’d been too busy working to get her anything—and my lousy poker face gave me away.

So, what’s a dad to do? I don’t know about you, but when those big, blue eyes go wide and well up, I’m reduced to the most basic reaction. I grabbed her by the hand and took her on a daddy-daughter night out at Sonic Drive-In.

While chewing on a greasy cheeseburger and even greasier fries, I reflected on the three days at NAILBA. Here are a few odds and ends I was able to digest of things I saw or heard:

  1. The event attracted 1,337 attendees and 99 exhibiting companies in 120 booths.
  2. NAILBA Chairman Dexter S. Umekubo rocked the house with his stinging blues guitar and his emotional speech.
  3. “Our participation as an exhibitor at the NAILBA Annual Meeting brings us together with some of the most notable names in brokerage to exchange ideas that will enable the industry to reach the next level of efficiencies,” Mike Bridges, President of PaperClip Incorporated, an exhibitor.
  4. Annuity gurus galloped Gangnam Style in gold lamé shirts at the Prudential Karaoke party.
  5. Jeff Mooers, who is also a pretty good singer as he proved at one of the parties, was the recipient of the 2012 NAILBA Chairman’s Award.
  6. “In a world where there are so many opportunities to cut corners, whether you are a company of five people, 50 people or 500 people, you cannot be special, distinctive and compelling in the marketplace if you cannot first crate something special, distinctive and compelling about yourself.” Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company.
  7. The carriers are embracing new technologies designed to simplify and speed up the life insurance underwriting process, and consumers expect it.
  8. The key for an advisor in protecting himself from lawsuits is to make sure all communication was made clearly with clients and that all communication was documented.
  9. Roughly one in four life insurance policies sold today are sold without face-to-face interaction with an agent.
  10. “What we’re doing with IUL is protecting against deep losses by giving up earnings above a certain line.” Richard Weber, president of The Ethical Edge
  11. The floor continues to shake from the performance by the Blues Brothers cover band at one of the late night parties.
  12. The NAILBA board authorized a $5,000 donation to the American Red Cross to assist in Superstorm Sandy relief efforts. 
  13. “Ten trillion dollars are sitting on the sidelines right now,” says Eric Taylor, vice president of annuity sales, Genworth Financial.
  14. Next year: NAILBA 32 returns the Annual Meeting to the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, November 21-23, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.

For more coverage from NAILBA 31, see:

4 business success stories so crazy they just might work

Avoiding the 9 deadly sales mistakes

Rocked at NAILBA