ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 19 - Seeking to capitalize on the positive energies of its two industry-leading events, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) will hold its annual meeting - the InfoXchange - and its National Legislative Conference together in Washington, D.C. beginning in 2006, announces IIABA CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt today.
“While both IIABA meetings are highly successful and well-attended events,” says Rusbuldt, “we believe that holding them back-to-back in the same location will create new synergies that will empower us to more effectively highlight to the industry and our nation’s elected leaders the critical role our member agents and brokers have in the insurance delivery process and the national economy.
“This strategic convergence will create a larger stage for IIABA to showcase the political and grassroots involvement of its 300,000 highly active, community-oriented agents and brokers to members of Congress, other policymakers, industry leaders and the media,” continues the IIABA leader. “At the same time, staging the event in the nation’s power center will better position IIABA to educate lawmakers and other influential Washington decision-makers on the critical part our members and the entire insurance industry have in shaping a healthy economic environment for all Americans.”
Currently, the InfoXchange is conducted during the fall of each year in a host-city location while the legislative meeting is held each spring in Washington, D.C. Beginning in April 2006, the two meetings will be staged together in the nation’s capital at the Grand Hyatt Washington and the recently unveiled new Washington Convention Center.
Until the new meeting format is launched in 2006, the InfoXchange will continue as a separate event, this year from Sept. 21-24 in Las Vegas, next year in Orlando and in 2005 in New York City. Meanwhile, the National Legislative Conference will operate as a stand-alone event through 2005.
“For the next three years, our partners in the InfoXchange and National Legislative Conference as well as attendees will continue to see and experience excellent programs and sessions as they have in the past,” says Rusbuldt. “We greatly anticipate working with our exhibitors and sponsors to make the next three InfoXchanges successful for the agents, brokers and industry leaders who come to the event each year. Also, our legislative conference will continue to be the premier industry legislative conclave.”
While the schedule of events is a work in progress, there will be great new opportunities for agents and brokers, insurance companies, exhibitors, vendors and others. The new InfoXchange will offer attendees the largest trade show in the property-casualty industry, nationally recognized business speakers and industry leaders, education, best practices, technology insights, and numerous networking opportunities for agents and brokers as well as the many industry representatives who will be attending the event.
The new National Legislative Conference will include an informative issues-briefing session, a congressional reception on Capitol Hill, potentially a panel of political and legislative experts, a breakfast session with leading political figures and hundreds of meetings between IIABA members and their elected representatives in Congress.
“This formula will create a vibrant industry meeting that will appeal to a large cross-section of IIABA members and representatives from insurance companies, company trade associations and even government leaders,” says Rusbuldt. “We want to take our meetings to the next level, and by holding them together in the same place we strongly feel that we will create an event that quickly will become the ‘must attend’ meeting in the industry and in Washington.”
The convergence does not take effect until 2006 because of hotel commitments IIABA has for its upcoming annual meetings and legislative conferences, explains Rusbuldt.
Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.