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We believe investing in yourself as an insurance professional is the best way to ensure career growth and expand your knowledge base. Depending on what you are looking for, either learning more about the industry’s top trends and issues, or meeting your CE requirements for the year (or possibly a little bit of both), CONVO education sessions will meet your needs. Experts are coming in from throughout the country to provide updates on the latest trends, topics, and issues impacting the industry. 

Wednesday - 8:00 am - Noon
Keynote/General Session (CE): "Four Ways to Define and Enhance Your Culture"
Wednesday Breakout Sessions
Thursday Keynote Session - 8:30 - 11:30 am
State of the Association Address and "Empowering Your Agency with Connectivity
E&O Roadmap to Cyber and Privacy Insurance

Tuesday, October 10 - 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Hotel, LaSalle

The world is changing, and agents and brokers have a duty to educate themselves and their clients on the need to protect their businesses from the exposures created by technology. To do this, we must fully understand the available exposures and coverages. During this session, Sam will address how the coverage forms we use to finance these risks ‘work.’ Cyber policies differ from other property and liability policies we use to protect our clients. Understanding how insuring agreements are chosen to effectively address the various cyber exposures that our clients face each day, both first and third parties, will help participants be better risk management partners for their clients. Sam will share insights into cyber and privacy coverage issues, including a review of losses resulting from cyber and electronic activities, and help participants identify effective loss control measures to mitigate as much uncertainty as possible. Participants will also learn more about the resources available through the IIA of IL. 

*Applicable towards three hours of the necessary credit for the E&O discount.
*Satisfies the IL Ethics requirement.

Insurance Game of Games

Tuesday, October 10 - 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Hotel, Marquette A

Do you hate to be entertained while learning? If “yes,” this class is not for you.

Do you prefer to learn in a fun, engaging, and relaxed environment? Then this class is for you! Join hosts, Luke Praxmarer & Nicole Broch for interactive games of “Pursuing Trivia” and “Agent’s Feud,” putting your insurance skills to the test. Will your team outsmart the others and win prizes?

This session covers a variety of topics, including Personal Auto & Home, Commercial Property & Auto, Personal Umbrella, EPL, Business Income, Workers Comp, and more. Your hosts will prove learning can be fun in this session of wits, laughter, and knowledge.

Four Ways to Define and Enhance Your Agency Culture

Wednesday, October 11 - 8:00 - 11:30 am

Civic Center, 4th Floor

According to a recent survey, 46% of job seekers said culture was one of the deciding factors in the application process. In recent years, workplace cultures have undergone a dynamic shift. For many organizations, culture has been redefined by remote work, the talent shortage, increased mental health awareness, and a multi-generational workforce. We have five generations in the workplace, four of which dominate this space. Understanding each generation’s perspective on the changes in culture and leadership can create an engaged team that attracts top talent. 

One key element of a healthy culture is ensuring everyone on your team brings their authentic selves to work, feels included in decisions that impact them, and is provided tools and support so they can do their best work. 

This energetic and information-packed presentation will explain the correlation between leadership, workplace culture, and attracting top talent. 

Attendees of this presentation will learn the following: 

  • The difference between culture and subculture and how the latter impacts business. 

  • How to identify and define the company’s culture more clearly based on the four distinct styles. 

  • Tips on building a sustainable culture that develops and prepares multi- generational leaders. 

Back to Basics - Understanding Surplus Line Insurance

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 1:00 - 1:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 401

This session will give agents a solid background in the origins, uses and regulation of the surplus line market.

Managing and Leading a Remote Workforce

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 1:00 - 1:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 402

Hybrid and remote work is here to stay and has changed the backdrop of the workplace. While every job is not remote capable, organizations that champion remote and hybrid work will fair far better than their counterparts with retention, productivity, and job satisfaction. A recent survey of ten thousand workers revealed that 23% of those surveyed would take a 10% pay cut to work from home permanently.

Remote work is not new; for many employers, it can be an enticing offering and motivator in the fight for talent. This presentation examines challenges employers face when determining if hybrid and remote work should be integrated long-term. A decision like this requires changes to culture, processes, and engagement strategies.

Attendees of this presentation will learn the following:

  • How "presenteeism" impact the remote work model.

  • Employment best practices and policies to consider when establishing hybrid and remote work standards.

  • How to Integrate the remote work experience into an established "in-person" culture.

Business Planning to Improve Your Agency Valuation

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 1:00-1:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 403

The first step in business planning is knowing where you are and identifying the risks in your business. During this session, agency owners will learn how to effectively business plan with the goal of improving their agency’s value. The session will identify the most important risk factors in an agency valuation and review the strategy to address each of these concerns to grow agency value. The agents will leave with practical tools to leverage in the journey to maximize the value of the agency.

Attracting Your Ideal Client in a Hard Market Through Podcasting

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 1:00 - 1:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 404

In this 50 minute session, insurance professionals will learn how to define their ideal client and use unique sales and marketing strategies to attract those clients during a hard market. Attendees will understand how to create a podcast to gain attention in their marketplace. Attendees will also understand how to use podcasting material to build an arsenal of niche content and build their book of business with ideal clients.

Four Key Business Income Concepts

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 2:00 - 2:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 401

Businesses exist to make money. Even “non-profits” need to make money to survive. Thus, every business’ greatest exposure is the loss of needed income.  

Some estimates are that approximately 25% of business operations that suffer a business-closing loss never reopen. Likewise, approximately 50% of those that do re-open close down within a short period after re-opening due to the business-closing loss.  

Why do these businesses cease to exist? It’s not the lack of property insurance on the building or personal property. The real reason is the loss of income.  

The most important asset requiring protection is the business’ income. In this session the four most important business income concepts are discussed. Upon these concepts business income is built.  

After this session, business income coverage will be far less mystifying.  

Best Practices in Agency Compensation

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 2:00 - 2:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 402

The pandemic, inflation, and insurance talent gap have created a recent surge in salary expectations. Are your salary and benefits package competitive enough to attract and retain the talent required for your agency to thrive? We will analyze available data from Illinois, Big I Best Practices, and OIA Valuations to provide a snapshot of current compensation levels within the industry and across the broader labor market. We will also share a few compensation models and innovative practices some agencies have employed to attract and retain talent. Participants will leave with a better understanding of current market conditions and strategic insights to evaluate their compensation practices.

Brett's 2 Sense Nonsense

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 2:00 - 2:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 403

In this session, based on his monthly Insight magazine column, Brett Gerger will channel his years of experience working for the Department of Insurance to enlighten attendees on a variety of topics. Attendees will hear Brett’s take on current market conditions, give his advice on finding the right talent for your agency, and so much more! This class will be highly interactive, and attendees are encouraged to bring their burning questions. According to Brett, his answers may solve the world’s problems, so bring a notepad.

Building Relationships and Referrals in a Digital World

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 2:00 - 2:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 404

Much of an insurance agent’s success is based on relationships and referrals. So, is your agency properly utilizing digital relationship and referral tools? This session will discuss how strengthening your relationships through social media content can lead to a better customer experience and a happier team, and harnessing online reviews can drive referral traffic. You’ll walk away with new perspectives on how to enhance what you’ve done for years to build relationships and earn referrals.

Demystifying the Business Income Report/Worksheet (CP 15 15)

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 3:00 - 3:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 401

Businesses exist to make money. Without income, businesses cease to exist.  

Business Income coverage is the most important property coverage any and every business should have.   

Fear of the Business Income Report / Worksheet (the CP 15 15) sometimes dissuades agents from writing the coverage. Six pages and many blank spaces coupled with the fact that the worksheet is not in “accounting speak” make the form seem more daunting than it really is.  

When the CP 15 15 is understood, there is no more fear. And the secret is, the CP 15 15 is very easy to understand – and explain.  

After this session, fear of the CP 15 15 will only be a shadow of the past.

Avoiding Legal Concerns Due to Emerging Trends

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 3:00 - 3:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 403

This fast-paced one hour seminar is in four parts.  The first examines the state of the legal system, including caseloads, time delays, and overall costs.  The idea is to emphasize to the attendees that it pays to be cognizant of the costs and time drains of legal action defense.  The section concludes with a discussion from a purely errors-and-omissions perspective – where do claims come from and who makes them?   

With this background in place, the remaining three sections of the hour look at three recent cases.  In each, the desire is to identify the background of the issue, what the case speaks to in terms of that issue from the producer’s perspective, and then move toward a solution that benefits the insured as well as the producer. Rick will also discuss some of the issues being seen recently by IL agents including website ADA compliance and digital image copyright infringement.   

The first of the three involves cyber-related risks.  The development of a new national standard is discussed using the recent New York state regulations as a model.  Producers gain an appreciation of the cyber risk overall in today’s world.  Then the section pivots to a discussion of multi-factor authentication and the impact it had on one insured.  The section ends with a reminder of the importance of accuracy on all insurance applications. 

The third takes a similar approach with a recent liquor liability case from Indiana.  While the relationship between a liquor liability policy and a commercial general liability form is a well-explored topic in general, there is nevertheless an important lesion to be gleaned from the Ebert case.  Insureds need to be in the right coverage for their business risk and it is incumbent upon the producer to at least advise the insured of the need. 

The last section looks at a new sharing economy issue – how to insure a private vehicle engaged in delivery (as opposed to passenger delivery).  Using the Malzberg decision, the case shows the limitations of existing law and concludes with an admonition to make sure that all uses of a private passenger vehicle are properly accounted for. 

How to Communicate Your Value in a Hard Market

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout - 3:00-3:50 pm

Civic Center, 4th Floor, Room 404

It's rarely easy to get prospects and customers to understand the immense value you bring to the table (until there's a claim). Add on carrier capacity and restrictions, rising premium costs and team members with less hard-market experience and the task becomes more challenging. Join MarshBerry Vice President, Brandon Hardesty, as he shares the language and strategy you need to communicate and grow, how to understand the importance of an association or network partner to achieve growth goals, and creating a strategy and succession plan for your firm to move forward in the current market.

Chris Cline, Ray Roentz, Paul Hawkins, Murali Natarajan, Lindsey Polzin

State of the Association Address and Refocus, Connect, and Empower Your Agency for the Future

Thursday, October 12 - 8:30 - 11:30 am

Hotel, Cotillion Ballroom

Learn about trends and challenges facing the independent agency system during the State of the Association Address. Association leaders will empower you with news on legislative and regulatory issues impacting your business and your clients, connect you with tools and resources to navigate the changing market and challenge you to refocus on what matters most to keep your agency ahead of the curve. 

In a world with no shortage of options, risks, and distractions when it comes to technology, it's important to be nimble but also act with intent. Chris Cline will begin this session by challenging you to slow down to speed up when planning your business strategy for the future. 

Cline will moderate a panel of experts with various technology backgrounds who will explore industry and tech space trends including artificial intelligence, data, best practices, virtual assistants, and what's coming next. Finally, we will look at where we go next. You and your agency are leaving a legacy whether you are managing it or not. We'll close with a powerful discussion on the significance of legacy and taking control of your most personal and valuable asset as Chris Cline shares insights from his new book, The Inertia of Legacy. 

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