It’s that time of year again! The IASA 2018 Educational Conference and Business Show is just around the corner, with this year’s conference taking place at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN.
One of the largest annual gatherings of insurance, financial, and technology professionals, IASA is a great place to network, learn, and find solutions to your business challenges. Yet, with over 100 educational sessions, vendor connect tours, and keynotes spread over four days, it can also be a daunting experience to navigate.
So first, a few bits of useful information:
- Registration will be in Ryman Hall C, on the lower level of the Convention Center.
- The Opening Reception and the Business Show will also be in Ryman Hall C, on the lower level of the Convention Center.
- Educational Sessions will be held on multiple floors, with the Delta rooms being on level 2 of the Convention Center and the Bayou, Canal, Jackson, and Lincoln rooms being on the Mezzanine level.
- The Four C-Level Roundtable Events will be held in the Governor’s Ballroom on level 2 of the Convention Center.
- The Tuesday night Networking Event will be in Delta A, on level 2 of the Convention Center.
Next, whether you’re new to IASA or an experienced veteran, below are 5 tips to help you maximize your time and opportunity at IASA, all with updated links and information:
- Plan Ahead
IASA offers a number of resources to help you prepare for their annual event. Visit http://iasa.org/conference and use the links to plan your days. Start by downloading the one page “At-A- Glance Agenda” under the Highlights section, and print it out as a convenient map for planning your conference.Next, review the educational sessions in all three tracks—Accounting, Risk, and Finance (ARF), Technology, & Career Skills Development (CSD)—and confirm your choices for each of the educational slots. Be sure to check out the Super Sessions—each track has a deep dive session with a prominent speaker on one of the three conference days.
Finally, visit the Business Show page and click on the Business Show Floor and Exhibitors link to review the more than 200 exhibitors who will be onsite. You can click on “Advanced Search” at the top of the page to select specific categories of interest, enabling you to select and prioritize the vendors that are most important for you to visit during the show.
ProTip: If your firm is looking to improve policyholder communications and experience be sure to join Vendor Connect Tour #888—Delivering the Best Customer Experience. SPLICE Software will be among the exhibitors presenting on this tour around both the value of customer experience & ways to improve service and reduce costs by proactively contacting customers with voice messaging.
- Download the Conference App
IASA has made navigating the conference onsite easier than ever by providing a fully-functional app for your smartphone or tablet. Download the app in advance by visiting core-apps.com/iasa2018 and then connect it to your registration by selecting “Schedule Sync” at the bottom of the app. You’ll need your Registration ID and your Last Name as it appears in your registration, but once synced, your personal schedule of selected sessions and activities from the online registration will automatically populate to the “My Schedule” section of the app. While you’re free to attend any sessions during the conference, knowing which ones you signed up for originally can help you stay on track. You can also add new sessions to your schedule, simply, by clicking the star symbol on the session’s description inside the app. From the app, you can download session materials, take notes, connect with and send messages to other attendees, view the exhibit hall map, search for vendors, and complete surveys on sessions and speakers, among a number of other robust features.
ProTip: New in 2018, IASA is enabling networking via the App! Be sure to publish your profile to the directory so that other attendees can find you, send messages, and invite you to events going on in Nashville!
- Watch Your Email
Outside of the official Sunday night cocktail party in the Exhibit Hall and the Tuesday night networking reception, there are a number of invitation-only parties and receptions hosted on- and offsite by sponsors and vendors of the IASA Conference. If you gave IASA permission to share your contact information during registration, you’re likely to find a number of invitations to those parties arriving in your inbox during the two- to three weeks prior to the event. You’ll also find promotions of contests, giveaways, and other activities going on throughout the Exhibit Hall. Keep your eyes peeled for these promotions because (based on rumor and history) you could be leaving Nashville with a prize or two ranging from an Apple Watch to a personal drone!
- Go Social
Speaking of prizes, there are multiple reasons to get active on social media prior-to and during IASA, and prizes are one of them. Social media is a great way to keep track of activities during the conference, and following the #IASA2018 hashtag will enable you to stay informed. IASA tweets out a livestream of updates throughout the event, reminding you of where to be and when for various activities. In addition, IASA has social media contests for conference-related posts across three social media channels: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and SPLICE is the official sponsor for the Twitter contest this year! There are three Apple HomePod units up for grabs in the contests, one for each social channel. Look for complete rules and information inside the show guide onsite.
ProTip: SPLICE will actually be giving away TWO Apple HomePods; one as part of the official IASA Contest, and a second as our booth door prize—but every time you tweet about @SPLICESoftware you’ll get an extra entry into the contest! Stop by booth #904 for more details!
- Don’t Forget the Basics
It’s really easy to arrive at any conference and realize you’ve left behind one of the basic items you meant to bring or didn’t know you needed. Here are a few frequently forgotten and/or special items to add to your packing list:
- Business Cards – Not all vendors use the badge scanning devices, and networking with other attendees is a key benefit of the IASA Conference. So, business cards are an essential tool for entering contests and connecting post-conference.
- Notebook – If you don’t plan to take session notes in the conference app, you might want to bring a notebook, padfolio, or iPad/tablet to capture notes during the educational sessions.
- Pens – Either bring a few pens with you or remember to get some from vendors before the educational sessions start, so you have them on-hand for note taking purposes.
- Charging Cables – You’ll be on the run all day and night, so make sure you remember to pack your charge cables and backup batteries for your various electronic devices. ProTip: if you forget your cable, stop by the SPLICE Software booth for a multi-use cable that works with Apple Lightning Connector, Micro-USB, and USB-C!
- Country Attire – Tuesday night’s networking event is a Nashville-style country music event with country-star Joe Nichols… be sure to bring your cowboy boots and cowboy hat and get ready to two-step to songs like “Brokenheartsville!”
- Sunscreen & Appropriate Clothing – Nashville weather in June can be sunny & humid. Be sure to pack some sunscreen, especially if you’re planning to spend some time by the pool or tour local attractions during the day. And bring light clothing, but as always, be sure to bring a light jacket as air-conditioned conference rooms can get chilly!
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Twitter @dmreffitt. And look for me onsite. When I’m not attending sessions, you’ll likely find me in booth #904!
SPLICE Software will be exhibiting at IASA booth #904. Stop by to learn more about how SPLICE’s Voice solutions for phone, SMS Message, and Voice First Devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home can help you connect with your policyholders at the right time and via their channels of choice!