(Toronto, Ontario) The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is hosting its 97th Annual Convention October 25–26th in Ottawa. The biggest issue of discussion at its Members’ Meeting is the future definition of IBAO membership, specifically a critical vote to determine the membership definition and associated bylaw and governance structure modifications to support any agreed upon change.

“It’s essential that members use their voice and vote on this critical topic,” said IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “We need input regarding potential changes to how we define our membership and the governance framework through which members will ensure their voice is heard. As an association we need to develop a target membership definition that will best serve brokers in the industry now and in the future.”

This year condensed to a 2-day event, the IBAO Convention features both a broker focus and an insurer focus.

“We wanted to be even more efficient with this year’s agenda,” said IBAO President Traci Boland. “The first day is centered on brokers and the second day features the insurer side. There’s a deliberate emphasis on industry collaboration and the need to better align on all fronts – technology, regulation, broker advocacy. Convention’s the perfect time to examine new ways of delivering an enhanced customer experience, whether that’s directly through brokerage processes or through insurer partner products and procedures.”

Every year the IBAO hosts a CEO Panel featuring its insurer sponsors. Due to last year’s success, this year will follow a similar format where CEOs will address attendee questions based on real-time feedback. The panel will be facilitated by former journalist and returning moderator Jim Harris. At this time, Economical Insurance, Gore Mutual, Intact Insurance and RSA Canada have confirmed their participation.

“We greatly value our insurance partners,” said IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “We want to provide a platform for our members to ask first-hand about the decisions they’re making and the directions they’re choosing to take. We’re all in the midst of planning the future of our businesses – it’s important to align with partners who have brokers at the forefront of their distribution strategies, who add value to the broker network.”

Other key Convention highlights include:

* Keynote John Herdman – Coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team, on how to run a high-performing team
* BIP Talks – 5 half-hour presentations from experts in and outside the industry including Google Canada Head of Marketing Fab Dolan, Networking Strategist Derek Coburn, BMO Business Finance Expert Colin Clahane, CW Group Partner Eric Walker, Auto Insurance Adviser David Marshall, Insurance Bureau of Canada CEO Don Forgeron and hand-selected technology vendors ProNavigator, Rocket Referrals and Eddy Home
* The IBAO Awards of Excellence Gala honouring Brokerage, Young Broker, Affiliate and Innovator of the Year, featuring comedian James Cunningham and Toronto-based band Electric Blonde
* Insurer Town Halls with Economical Insurance, Gore Mutual, Intact Insurance, the Guarantee, RSA Canada, Travelers Canada and Wawanesa Insurance
* The largest insurance industry tradeshow in the country featuring over 125 industry partners

“Any broker considering the future of their business, implementing technological improvements to meet consumer expectations, wanting to attract millennials or generally looking for inspiration, networking opportunities or education should attend this year’s Convention,” says Boland. “I personally invite you to join the IBAO this October as we celebrate Canada 150 and our 97th year hosting this incredible event.”

The IBAO Convention takes place October 25–26th at the Shaw Centre and Westin Hotel in Ottawa. Register at www.www.ibao.org/convention.