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Handshakes and Business Cards: It’s Time for Conference Season

Robert Regis Hyle | May 02, 2014

We’re off to Orlando once again for the 11th annual ACORD LOMA Forum and, as usual, expectations are high as the insurance technology field enters a five-week period known as the crazy conference season.

For those of you attending at least one of the major spring conference’s (IASA meets in early June in Indianapolis), getting the most out of three days away from the office—in addition to the travel expenses—is paramount. Budgets have loosened in recent years to allow more travel, but image conscious IT leaders know that bringing home something more than lens cleaners for the staff’s iPhones is the goal.

People are more connected than ever before thanks to technology, whether it is through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or some other social media source. But conferences aren’t about connecting electronically; they are about meeting people face-to-face.

The education portion of these conferences is valuable, but let’s face it, the opportunity to learn from colleagues on critical issues is available on a weekly basis across the Internet in the form of web seminars. What can not be duplicated, though, is the opportunity to visit with the dozens of solution providers that inhabit the exhibit halls at these conferences.

Where else can you get to spend five minutes of your time chatting with a vendor that you may not know well, but could someday be a business partner. A recollection of that moment in time is when business cards—yes, those little pieces of paper still have value—are dug out of a desk drawer and phone calls are made.

Even those who are not actively looking for new systems can find value from this display by seeing what is available on the market. Let’s face it, R&D is in the hands of solution providers these days. That’s no knock on the skills of carrier IT personnel, but it’s a nod to the budget issues carriers—particularly in the midtier—have to face.

So if you are in Orlando this week or in Indianapolis next month, take advantage of what organizations such as ACORD, LOMA, and IASA have to offer. You never know where knowledge or great ideas will come from, just be ready to embrace them when they shake your hand.


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