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IAIP Leaders Share Meeting Success Stories

Thursday, April 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Betsey Blimline
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A huge thanks to IAIP Members: Mindy Menke, Jacque Clark, and Paula Stubblefield for sharing the following best practices for IAIP events and meetings!

#1 from Mindy Menke, AIM, AAM, CPIW - Oregon Mutual Insurance

I think each state and region is different in what they enjoy or what is of value to them. It  is hard to get younger people to want to attend. So what we tried to do at each council meeting was be sure we had really good CE topics and interesting non-CE classes, as well as plenty of time for networking so the first timers had a chance to speak to the seasoned members. We made sure lunches, parties, etc. were not too scheduled so people could network with each other. Friendships are  what they say makes them want to come back and they need the time to develop them.

As far as the wine tour/CE  we did that as a monthly meeting but it would be great to think outside the box and do it for a council or regional, perhaps rent a bus and take people out to tour the winery and then have an area reserved at the winery where you could gather with maybe an agent or company person to discuss winery insurance. This “field trip” was a fun, educational and out of the box idea that the new people seemed to enjoy. We also have taken another “field trip” to another business in town as well. I am sure there are other places you could visit and tie in corresponding education programs as well. I think these fun, outside the box ideas are what will interest new people in attending. It has to be fun and of value for them to want to leave their families and spend the family dollars.

#2 from Jacque Clark, AAI, AIS, CPIW, ACS - Hull & Company, LLC

The best thing we did for our council meeting was to make it simple and cost efficient. We offered free CE as we had a sponsor cover that cost. For CLP, they only paid for class materials because the instructor is a member and volunteered. Our hotel representative worked with us in every way to keep costs down so we could pass that savings on to our members. The best feedback we received was “How did you do it so cheap?” I know that conventions are supposed to be a fund raiser for the state. We tried to get as many sponsors and exhibitors as possible so that our membership registration would be reasonable.

For our first timers, we had an awesome committee chairperson that kept them engaged, walked around with them like a mother hen, and made sure she connected them with other members. Our first timers were pretty young so seeing us “seasoned” folks laugh and let our hair down made them very comfortable. And of course, we hugged on them and loved on them so much, they knew they were with family….the cool side of the family. Our Friday night welcome party was food, karaoke, beer and wine, and a caricature artist. They liked that they didn’t have to dress up for anything formal. We danced and laughed and ended the night in the hospitality room. There was still time for them to get out and about to go to some bars and do their own thing as well.

Everything that needed to be discussed for our meeting was done in the board pre-meeting and the delegates briefing. By the time the meeting came along, it was short and sweet and to the point. Our one speaker was a professor in the Risk Management program at UNC-Charlotte. Since she teaches and works with young people every day, she was able to effectively reach our whole group. No one had a chance to get bored because before the boredom could set in, we were done!

The best part of our convention was the time. We started on Friday morning and ended on Saturday afternoon. We considered that some people have to use PTO to attend the convention. People also don’t want to give up their entire weekend, having to travel back home on Sunday with no rest to start work on Monday. So we tried to work it out for most everyone and we were successful. Everyone could either go home or stay in town and experience Charlotte for the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening. Our feedback was good in people having the freedom to do whatever they wanted to do and not feel obligated to go with a group.

One other thing. A few of our folks needed to be able to have a good reason to give their employer so they could attend the convention. We provided them with testimonies and statements that won over their supervisors. Helping them with that communication was a tremendous support for them. 

#3 from Paula Stubblefield, CIC, CPIW, CISR, AIAM, DAE - C.T. Lowndes & Company

We have traditionally had a full day of classes on Friday – 2 CE courses and 2 IAIP courses. The courses are simultaneous so people can decide what they want to do when they do their registration. We also have a delegates briefing, and recently started publishing our committee reports (PR report, Membership report, etc.) in the printed program and we don’t do them during the business session.

During the business session we talk about a few things we have to like if there’s a bylaw change, and the RVP does her report then.  We do CWC after and then we have a ‘leadership luncheon’ where we recognize new designations and we have a speaker.  Our speakers are usually someone who talks about soft skills, and not insurance topics, but there are great – they’re people who talk about motivation, facing your fears in sales, etc.  We have an awards dinner that evening.

However, this coming year in 2018 we’re changing things.  Our MALs are hosting the first meeting in a really long time. We are doing a 1 day meeting with business, CWC and an awards/leadership luncheon. We will be done by 2 and then people have the option to stay and do some pre-planned activates or they can go home. We are going to have an education day later in the year. I think we will get a lot more attendance because it’s one day, people don’t have to ask off work and the registration fee is less than half of what it was before. 

I am a big fan of ‘forced networking,’ where I ask people to number off and then group up for some activity.  Last year they had 4-5 people on each team and they had to take a series of pictures on a list (a silly picture with a hotel employee or selfies) and text them to me and whichever team completed it first got a prize. People had SO MUCH fun doing this.

We get as much sponsorship as possible. We know we won’t use every penny, but we want to pay it forward to the next association who hosts, because ours is pretty big, and some of the others have trouble getting funding. We also did the winery thing – except it was a brewery – and a rep. from a company came to talk about brewery coverage. It was a monthly meeting and we had very high attendance for that one.


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