Inspirational speakers take the virtual stage for IBAO's Keynote Speaker Series

Inspirational speakers take the virtual stage for IBAO's Keynote Speaker Series | Insurance Business

Inspirational speakers take the virtual stage for IBAO

In-person insurance conferences may be on hold for the time being, but that doesn’t mean brokers can’t continue to access some of the top speakers in Canada, and expand their expertise and awareness on critical topics – at least, not on one broker association’s watch.

The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) has put together an exclusive line-up of highly requested inspirational speakers in its Keynote Speaker Series, which will feature on-demand content aimed at brokerage teams. The content will cover three categories – Mental Health & Wellness, Marketing, Innovation & Disruption, and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion – and brokers can sign up to participate until January 22.

Find out more: Learn everything you need to know about the IBAO here

“[This program] was driven in part by a desire to help brokers support their staff, stay inspired, and maintain a positive mindset,” said Brett Boadway, IBAO’s chief operating officer, adding that the past few months have been tough on brokers, as well as many businesses and families.

The series will feature big names in the speaker space, thanks to IBAO’s relationship with a speaker’s bureau that it has turned to for many of its events. That industry, in particular, has taken a big hit during the pandemic, so the series became an opportunity to not only give broker members access to valued expertise for a reasonable price, but also support premier Canadian speakers.

“I think we can all agree that a good speaker can really inspire and reframe our way of thinking,” said Boadway.

The cost to take part in the Keynote Speaker Series is based on a brokerage’s size, as all staff will be given access through IBAO’s LMS. Brokerages can purchase specific categories (containing five speakers each), or they can purchase all three categories (for 15 speakers total), with varying pricing options for brokerages that have less than 10 staff, those with under 30 staff, and those with more than 30 team members.

The speakers are split across the three categories, with five one-hour sessions in each section of the series. The topics were chosen because they represented some of the most pressing issues facing the broker channel right now. They also specifically don’t touch on technical insurance topics, as the series was intended to be more inspirational, aspirational, and motivational, explained Boadway.

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The Mental Health & Wellness topic was important to include because of the pressures that brokers may be currently experiencing in their professional and personal lives, while the Marketing, Innovation & Disruption category was critical considering the digital evolutions that the pandemic has put front and centre. Similarly, the topics of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion have been top of mind for sometime now, and the speakers featured in this category can help business owners have important conversations that could prompt meaningful change in the workplace.

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With the registration deadline of January 22 fast-approaching, and the start date of the series scheduled for February 15, brokerages are already coming up with creative ways to take advantage of the Keynote Speaker Series in their offices.

“Some brokerages are thinking about hosting ‘lunch and learns,’ where they play one of the speaker’s sessions and have a conversation about it afterwards,” said Boadway. “That’s a great way to have a team-building event, or just have a conversation about something other than insurance. They can also access it on-demand and get their RIBO hours, while enjoying the session in the peacefulness of their own home.”

The Keynote Speaker Series is far from the only educational opportunity that the IBAO is offering its broker members during the first few months of 2021. Boadway highlighted three more upcoming events, starting with an expert speaker who on January 27 will be talking about recruiting next generation talent into the broker channel, as well as what that generation is looking for in an employer and how brokerages can position themselves to be more attractive to this type of employee.

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Additionally, there are two upcoming panels that are going to be live-streamed by the IBAO, the first of which will focus on how COVID has impacted travel insurance to help brokers get up to speed with what’s happening in the evolving travel industry. Meanwhile, the second panel will be all about selling a brokerage.

“We know that there are some brokerages that are thinking about making a change and expediting their plans for their business,” noted Boadway. “Having a panel of subject matter experts talk about what’s involved in selling your brokerage, how you can best position your business for a sale, legal considerations to make financing options available to you, and trip wires to look out for will be very timely in this environment.”