In its 60th anniversary year, Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals continues to set records, evolve its member resources, and throw a heck of an annual conference.
FICP’s “Endless Summer, Endless Impact” themed 2017 Annual Conference, under way through Wednesday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, Calif., drew a record number of meeting professionals—268—and an overall attendance of 772. Attendees include 15 former association leaders and other guests who returned to help celebrate FICP’s six decades of success.
And celebrating they are, with high-energy networking events, quality education and speakers, and top-end food and beverage, overseen by conference chair Caryn Taylor Lucia, CMP, vice president, corporate event marketing, SEI. Conference highlights so far have included the animated goofiness of master of ceremonies Joel Zeff; the passionate optimism of keynote speaker Burt Jacobs, co-founder of the Life Is Good brand; generous and creative evening events hosted by Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina and Hotel Del Coronado (with the final night event planned for the decks of the USS Midway aircraft carrier!); and a big-picture panel discussion on economic trends affecting the meeting and hotel industries, featuring Nick Sargen, Fort Washington Investment Advisors, and Michael Dominguez, MGM Resorts.
Joe Scully, senior director, John Hancock Financial Services, who ends his term this week as the association’s board chair, brought attendees up to date on the association’s accomplishments over the past year:
• This fall the association updated its name. The “P”in FICP’s acronym now stands for “professionals” rather than “planners,” to better reflect the key role of members at their companies.
• FICP debuted a new website, which includes a blog, improves mobile use, and makes the sign-in process simpler for members.
• The Education Essentials newsletter is a new content-rich resource.
• A new influence committee is working to raise the association’s thought leadership profile. The committee is in charge of executing Pulse Surveys that take a snapshot of what’s on members’ minds.
This year’s silent auction is another record breaker for the 60th anniversary. Silent auction co-chairs, Martin Johnson, regional director of sales for Montage International, and Lynn Lee, global sales director, AlliedPRA, and their team have 120 items, the most ever, on the auction block at the conference. While bidding hasn’t concluded, organizers hope to also see record proceeds, which this year will be distributed to two groups: the association’s ongoing charity partner, Junior Achievement; and Global Giving, where FICP will target its funds to support disaster relief efforts.
Look for a full conference wrap up in the December issue of the MeetingsNet digital magazine and tablet app.