Tips For Attending Insurance Conventions & Trade Shows
This year AccuAgency is exhibiting at more than a dozen insurance conventions throughout the United States. Convention season is a busy time. Most conventions take place in the Summer but more and more associations are adding shows in late Winter, Spring and early Fall. This year we’re attending conventions beginning this month (March) through October.
We love attending. We enjoy speaking with agents to learn what makes their agencies successful and sharing what we do to help independent agents be more efficient, productive and successful in an increasingly competitive market.
Trade shows can be hectic. As exhibitors, we arrive early and set up our booth making sure we have all of the documentation to discuss our products and services. We have to make sure we have brochures, business cards, etc. as most trade shows last at least a few hours and most conventions have trade shows at least two days.
We have a checklist of to-dos before each convention. We always learn something new after each. We always ask, what can we do to make the next convention better?
So here are a few tips we suggest agents consider when attending an insurance convention.
Plan Your Day In Advance
Are you planning to expand and write new lines of business? Are you looking for new appointments? Most associations post a list of exhibitors on their website convention page. In addition, they link the exhibitor listing to the company’s website. Find out who will be exhibiting and do a little research to familiarize yourself with the companies and service providers you want to meet with at the trade show.
Make a list of the top exhibitors and booths you plan to attend. Most associations include a trade show floor map in the convention program. Map out your list on the trade show floor map. Once you have visited your list of companies/vendors, visit the remaining booths. You may discover a company or product that’s a perfect fit for your agency or that can fill a need your agency can benefit from.
Attend The Social Events
You’ve paid to attend the convention, get everything out of it. The social events like dinners, cocktail parties, pool parties, hostipitality suites and happy hours are great places to meet and talk to other agents, people working in the insurance industry and special guests and speakers. These social events are more relaxed and excellent places to network.
Relax & Have Fun
Most conventions have free time worked into the schedule. Don’t feel like you have to work the entire time. Get out to the pool or beach. Go shopping or play miniature golf. Go out to dinner. (TIP:Some exhibiting companies are encouraged to take agents out to dinner. Would you like to talk to a company one-on-one? Feel out the company representative and see if they would be interested in taking you out to dinner.)
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.