Irma cancels NAIFA conference, but many industry events remain this fall

While it’s unfortunate, frustrating and no doubt very costly to scrap your biggest event of the year, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) certainly made the right call last week with Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida.

On Sept. 5, NAIFA President Paul R. Dougherty, LUTCF, FSS, HIA, and Keith Gillies, CFP, CLU, ChFC,NAIFA President-Elect made the official announcement:

Due to the state of emergency declared by Florida Gov. Rick Scott for the entire state of Florida and the projected path and timing of the Category 5 Hurricane Irma, the NAIFA Executive Committee has made an unprecedented decision to cancel the 2017 Performance + Purpose Conference in Orlando, scheduled for Sept. 8-10. The safety of our members, families and guests is of paramount concern.

The Annual Business Meeting will be rescheduled at a future date; information will be forthcoming.

SEE ALSO: Video about P+P cancellation from NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux

The NAIFA conference was just one of many big industry events on the calendar as summer turns toward fall. Another scheduled for Florida later this month, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Vision 2017, is “closely monitoring” the Hurricane Irma situation and will provide updates on its website. Here’s a quick rundown on some other approaching conferences, in order of occurrence:


• Sept 17-19: LIDMA Fall Meeting & Showcase, McLean, Va.

The 14th Annual Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA) Fall Meeting & Showcase will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Tyson’s Corner in McLean, Va., from Sept. 17-19.

The conference will feature a North American Insurance Solutions presentation from IBM Watson, the first-ever private equity/venture capital panel of industry leaders, direct marketing technique sessions, legal and regulatory updates, the award of LIDMA Life Lessons Scholarship, and a review of six LIDMA Innovation Award finalists with a real-time announcement of winner.

The event is billed as “the life insurance industry’s most focused gathering of high performance direct response marketers, producers, underwriters and vendors who are driving positive changes in the distribution of life insurance in order to benefit middle market consumers.”

“The theme of this Fall’s meeting is ‘Life, Disrupted,’ which tells you that change and innovation are beginning to be felt in the life insurance markets as never before,” said LIDMA president Shervin Eftekhari.

Underwriters, producers and vendors who are interested in the direct marketing of life insurance are invited to attend, but attendance is available only to LIDMA members. Information on the various membership categories and pricing is available at

“Interest is running so high for this year’s meeting that we have already sold out all Business Showcase sponsorship opportunities based upon word of mouth. And confirmed attendance numbers as of this date are already ahead of last year’s conference attendance. It’s exciting to see the pace of innovation increase in the life insurance space,” Eftekhari said.

More and more life insurance buyers are becoming self-directed and using direct response channels as their preferred method of purchasing life insurance. Recent trends in the direct-to-consumer sector have recently seen accelerated interest from big box stores, electronic retailers, search engine companies, banks, credit unions and other non-traditional companies that command vast audiences. LIDMA is the primary organization dedicated to supporting business and professionals who are active in this new and rapidly expanding channel.


• Sept 24-26: IRI VISION 2017, Palm Beach, Fla.

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) issued a statement recently notifying prospective attendees of the event, scheduled for The Breakers in West Palm Beach, later this month, that they remain in communication with the resort, monitoring potential damage from Hurricane Irma, to see if the event can be held as scheduled.

VISION 2017 is IRI’s annual business meeting for the insured retirement industry. With a speaker lineup featuring top-level, nationally recognized professionals and an attendee list consisting of the most influential CEOs and decision-makers in the industry, VISION brings you several valuable opportunities to learn, network, celebrate, and connect.

LEARN about emerging trends in product development, expanding financial support, and improving consumer perceptions about insured retirement strategies.

NETWORKwith industry peers, many of which are sure to help you take your business or career to the next level.

CELEBRATEwith IRI as we recognize our organization’s 25th anniversary — learn more about the special events we have in store for you.

CONNECTwith thought-leaders and subject matter experts as they delve into the intricacies of our industry. Find out whatinsights you’ll gain from VISION — click here to view the VISION fact sheet.


• Oct 3-4: InsureTech Connect, Las Vegas

More than 300 different startups will attend InsureTech Connect 2017, set for Oct. 3-4 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Together, they have raised a staggering $2.6 billion dollars in funding.

InsureTech Connect is the world’s largest insurtech event — offering unparalleled access to the largest and most comprehensive gathering of tech entrepreneurs, investors and insurance industry incumbents from across the globe. The event will feature more than 3,000 attendees from more than 40 countries, 200 speakers, and 50+ sessions. An impressive 60% of attendees are C-level executives/founders.

For details on how Insurance Forums members can save $300 off of registration for InsureTech Connect 2017, click here.


• Oct 11-13: 2017 NAFA Annuity Distribution Summit, San Diego

The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) invites its members to attend its ninth annual summit held bayside in San Diego at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina. The Distribution Summit is the largest gathering of IMO, carrier, bank and broker-dealer principals and executives in the industry, with a focus on the unique issues facing distribution within these channels.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, share and enhance relationships with one another in preparation for the evolution of the industry in a post-DOL world. The one-of-a-kind event will feature keynote speakers, panelists and others engaged in the most pertinent fixed annuity issues on the horizon.

Click here for more information.

• Oct 22-24: LIMRA Annual Conference, Washington DC

The LIMRA Annual Conference is one of the largest gatherings of executives representing all sectors of the financial services industry. The annual conference agenda is designed to offer attendees insights into the latest industry trends that could foretell future opportunities and solutions in the U.S. and worldwide.

Today’s consumer is empowered, engaged, and aware, and the forces affecting our industry — technology, regulation, big data, innovation — all flow back to the consumer. While consumers have always had the ability to vote with their wallet or feet, they now have the power to influence not only what they buy, but also what others buy. Consumers dictate when and how they engage with brands, thanks to the power of social networks and digital devices.

Reaching consumers has become an imperative. How do we understand and market to customers who are informed, influential, and in control?

LIMRA’s 2017 Annual Conference will address this question, focusing on the issues that will inform our future relationships with consumers. The program features forward-thinking executives from diverse industries who will discuss key strategies in areas that will influence the future of reaching consumers where they are, including:

Distribution/Marketing — Getting the right product to the right consumer in the right way

Regulation/Political Environment — Tax reform, regulatory changes, and the future of the DOL fiduciary rule

Digital/Technology — From Fintech to Blockchain — applicability to our industry and accessibility to the consumer

Economic Climate — Interest rates, and the U.S. and global economies

This year’s event will be held at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md. — near the action of Washington DC — which over the past months has undergone transformative change, and faces an uncertain future.

One of the keynote speakers, former CIA Director John Brennan, will share his solutions to cybersecurity threats, as the need for a cyber-security plan is now more important than ever before. Brennan’s experiences as director of CIA and Homeland Security advisor under President Obama and as the first director of the National Counterterrorism Center under President Bush, will help companies understand the nature of cyber threats and how they can protect themselves.

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner will deliver the closing keynote at the conference.

For more information and registration information, visit


• Oct 25-27: WIFS 2017 National Conference, Minneapolis

Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) is dedicated to attracting women to the insurance and financial services profession, developing their talents and advancing them toward their fullest potential.

This year’s national conference at the Hilton Minneapolis Oct. 25-27 will feature 30+ personal and professional development workshops while providing an annual opportunity to recognize outstanding member contributions, personal success, fostering connection and sharing best practices among members.

For more information and registration links, visit the conference website:


• Nov 15-18: NAILBA 36, Hollywood Fla.

NAILBA 36 – where the brokerage industry meets – will be held Nov. 15-18 at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) is the premiere insurance industry organization promoting financial security and consumer choice through the use of independent brokerage distribution. NAILBA serves as the national association of life, health and annuity insurance distributors.

This year’s conference agenda includes:

  • Keynote presentations from Theresa Payton, J. Craig Venter, PhD, Mark King and a State of the Industry Panel of BGAs;
  • Workshops designed to give you real-world takeaways to implement in your businesses right away including presentations by Joe Ross, Warren May, Melinda Meyer, Tiffany Markarian, Amy McIlwain and more;
  • A lively exhibit hall featuring the carriers, products and services you need to make your agency run smoothly;
  • Foundation activities including the Silent and Live Auctions to give you opportunities to support the Foundation that supports YOUR charitable efforts;
  • Recognition of the recipient of the prestigious Mooers Award at a black-tie dinner – open to all registrants;
  • Networking opportunities that are unrivaled at other industry events including an all-NEW After Dinner Dance Party on Friday night;
  • and more.

The NAILBA Annual Meeting is only open to current NAILBA member agency employees, contracted exhibitors and sponsors. New member applications for BGAs are available here (and must be submitted by September 30 to be eligible to attend the meeting).

For more information visit