The IASA Educational Conference and Business Show is just around the corner, with this year’s conference taking place at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. 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. Whether you’re new to IASA or an experienced veteran, below are 5 tips to help you maximize your time and opportunity at IASA:
- 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 the value of customer centricity, how customers view, engage, and affect the insurance industry, and their expectations for the future.
- Download the 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/dl/iasa2017 and then connect it to your registration by selecting “Schedule Sync” at the bottom of the app. 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.
- 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 Orlando 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 #IASA2017 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. There are three Amazon Echo units up for grabs in the contests, one for each social channel. Look for complete rules and information inside the show guide onsite. ProTip: If you’re still not sure how to leverage social media for your professional career or if you’re just looking to understand the latest privacy options for each site, be sure to join my social media workshop on Monday afternoon at 3:30pm in Session 221: Find, Leverage, & Maximize Your Social Profile. We’ll be exploring a new technique to learn how to get the most out of social media for your personal situation, and then doing live demos of the privacy options for the major social media sites!
- Don’t Forget the Basics – Finally, it’s quite 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.
- Tropical Attire – Tuesday night’s networking event is a Margaritaville-themed party, and all attendees are encouraged to wear flip flops, Bermuda shorts and parrot hats.
- Sunscreen – Don’t forget that Florida weather in June can be pretty brutal. Be sure to pack some sunscreen, especially if you’re planning to spend some time by the pool or visit nearby Walt Disney World/Disney Springs during the day.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or message me on Twitter @dmreffitt. And look for me onsite. When I’m not attending sessions, you’ll likely find me in the IASA booth as a volunteer.
SPLICE Software will be exhibiting at IASA booth #228. Stop by to learn more about how SPLICE’s Voice and SMS Messages can help you connect with your policyholders at the right time and via their channels of choice.