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Conference season: Make your fall travel plans now

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So many great industry conferences, so little budget to attend them.

That’s my dilemma as fall approaches.

Between late September and late November, there are eight different events I would love to attend, if time and travel budget would allow. I might actually get to three of them if I’m lucky. For a great boost of education, motivation and networking, think about attending an industry conference. Here’s a closer look at what’s available to you this fall:

Sept. 22-24: Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Annual Meeting 2013 at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, Chicago. The conference will include a view from the top from TIAA-CREF President and CEO Roger W. Ferguson Jr. Session discussions for the conference will include:

  • Outlook on the U.S. and global economies and implications for product development
  • The influence of demographic change, social trends and technology on consumer behavior and business innovation
  • Legislative and regulatory priorities and their effect on the insured retirement industry
  • Diversifying human capital to meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace
  • Supporting advisors as they help clients manage risk through holistic retirement planning

Sept. 22-25: The Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA) Fall Meeting & Showcase at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, Calif. Attendance at this meeting is available only to LIDMA members, and it will be attended by producers, direct marketers and agencies involved in direct response sales and processing. LIDMA is the primary organization dedicated to supporting business and professionals active in this expanding channel.

“The LIDMA Conference provides clear direction and ready-to-use information for producers and companies to maximize their direct response sales or initiate a new direct response effort,” says LIDMA President Andy Meehan. The agenda for this year’s event includes industry panel discussions, a detailed “State of the Channel” address, updates on the evolution of the LIDMA E-Process and Process Improvement initiatives, networking sessions and presentations from numerous industry experts.

Sept. 28-Oct. 1: NAIFA 2013 Career Conference and Annual Meeting at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ annual convention is where thousands of the nation’s leading insurance and financial advisors gather to network with colleagues, address important association business, hear top keynote speakers and interact with the more than 100 vendors and exhibitors. Two days of the convention are devoted to the National Career Conference, which features dozens of hands-on workshops and seminars covering five core tracks: insurance, estate planning and taxes, retirement and investing, practice management and marketing.

Oct. 16-18: NAFA IMO Summit at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colo. The IMO Summit is the largest gathering of insurance marketing organization principals and executives in the industry, with a focus on the unique issues facing IMOs. Whether an IMO, insurance carrier or an exhibitor, attendees have the opportunity to learn, share and create new relationships. More information about the event is available on the event’s website.

Oct. 20-22: LIMRA Annual Conference at the New York Hilton Midtown, New York City. Timothy Geithner, 75th United States Secretary of the Treasury, is the featured keynote speaker at this year’s event, which has a theme titled, “Leading through disruption to relevance.” LIMRA explains the theme this way:

The disruptive forces in our industry are intensifying. We’re facing record low life insurance ownership, a rapidly aging field force, and a consumer-driven economy that is profoundly changing how we sell and distribute our products. Add the broader challenges of regulatory pressures and meeting ROE targets in a low interest-rate environment, and we must ask ourselves… Is our business still relevant in these changing times? The LIMRA Annual Conference will help answer this question by providing attendees with the insights and tools to embrace the disruption and seek new models for innovation.

Oct 27-29: ACLI Annual Conference, “Opening Doors to Financial Security,” at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans. The American Council of Life Insurers’ 2013 meeting brings together senior executives from life insurance and financial services companies to examine today’s business and political issues. Featured speakers include former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former chief economist at the Federal Reserve Bank David Stockton, political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin, laywer and social media consultant Adrian Dayton, and noted demographer, economist and historian Neil Howe.

In addition to the general sessions, the final two days will feature a wide variety of concurrent sessions addressing legal, investment/financial, reinsurance, compliance, retirement security, advocacy, and legislative and regulatory issues. Also in attendance will be senior representatives from associated industries and financial services associations. Companies offering products or services to the industry will be represented at the Exhibitor Marketplace.

Nov. 20-22: The American College Knowledge Summit at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The Knowledge Summit is where graduates of The American College gather together for commencement exercises and celebrations, including the 2013 President’s Dinner at the Las Vegas Mob Museum. The educational, network-driven event boasts a long and distinguished list of featured speakers headlined by a keynote on “The Political Argument Today” by George Will of The Washington Post.

Nov. 21-23: NAILBA Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas. The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies 2013 meeting, commonly referred to as NAILBA 32, will feature speakers including innovator Mike Maddock of Maddock Douglas; inspirational speaker, marathoner and father Dick Hoyt; and politicians Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (Deficit Reduction Commission). Other features of the meeting include:

  • An all new half-day workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 20, designed to help improve business strategy and increase the bottom line
  • Over 80 exhibitors and sponsors
  • Workshops on topics including a State of the Industry discussion, Risk Appraisal Forum’s 2014 Underwriting Forecast, thanatology, social media, IUL, retirement income planning, and more

While the keynote speakers at these types of major industry events are no doubt entertaining, it’s the concurrent sessions where I typically find the most value. It’s there where you can drill down to very specific topics of interest and importance to your practice. The speakers are selected because they have innovative information to share on their area of expertise, and attendees always come away with some valuable takeaways that make the trip worthwhile.

I hope you will make the effort to attend at least one of these conferences this fall. No one I talk to at these conferences ever regrets making the trip.

For more from Brian Anderson, see:

College internships: A win-win for life insurance and 20-somethings

Banks are big in Latin America life insurance distribution

In case you missed them: Good-to-know news items from the life/health world


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