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My Visit at the Annual CLIEDIS Seminar: A Distributor's Perspective

News / Apr.25.2018

My Visit at the Annual CLIEDIS Seminar: A Distributor’s Perspective
The 19th Annual CLIEDIS Seminar proved to be one of best I have attended. It’s clear CLIEDIS is gaining momentum in the insurance industry just by how many people were in attendance. Distributors, carriers, and vendors filled a room for two days – and those in attendance were given heaps of information to take back to their office. From feed progress and industry updates, to the next steps and where we are heading.

Let me share a brief overview, from a distributor’s perspective, of these two busy days.

The FAWG Meeting
At the FAWG meeting, my initial reaction was shock – there were so many people in attendance! Our group for the day was easily double the size of last year; a whopping 70+ attendees. The sheer number alone proves how much of an impact data feeds and standardization is having in the marketplace.
The group had a mix of distributors, vendors, users, and everyone in-between. Everyone was operating at a different knowledge and comfort level with the feeds; which is necessary to gain perspective. Each group observes feeds differently, and it is great to be able to picture the process from every angle. We heard short presentations from a wide variety of presenters until we finally ended on vendor breakouts – where the real magic happened.

The vendor breakout sessions always prove to be the most beneficial for me. Having one-on-one time with both your vendor and other users of the same system, always leaves me with a lot of insight and new ideas. Our group agreed that hearing how others are using the vendor system, or what they can accomplish with it, gives everyone a lot to take home. Collectively, as a group, we all agreed it was the best part of the day.

The Annual Seminar
The seminar the next day started early in the beautiful One King West Hotel. Again, almost every seat was filled. Following the theme of previous years, a vendor showcase lined the room, fielding questions from distributors and advisors. The welcoming atmosphere made everyone approachable, and it was easy to spark up a discussion. As I took my seat and glanced at a jam-packed agenda, it was clear it was going to be another information-filled day.
Keynote Speakers
We had two keynote speakers for this session – Cole Cioran and Craig Byrkit. Both delivered excellent and thought-provoking presentations. Cole kicked off the morning with a presentation on blockchain and the hype around it in the industry. Cole made it clear that we need to sift through the hype to get to the facts.
In the afternoon, Craig Byrkit, our second keynote speaker spoke to us about computer hackers. This former FBI agent discussed the different threat levels that are affecting both the industry and our daily lives. His presentation created a lot of discussion due to how well his topic related to the audience. Our data is spread across many different platforms, and Craig’s presentation showed us what to be wary of, and how to protect ourselves.

Industry Updates
While the keynote speakers took us on a slight tangent away from feeds, we were quickly brought back with industry updates and discussions. We heard from CAILBA, APEXA, all vendor groups, and an interactive distributor panel discussion. This gave us a full scope of industry. By the end of the day, everyone in attendance had lots of information to bring back and share with their office.
While we all look forward to the post-event cocktail hour, the real value in this event is how much ground and information is covered in two days. Attendees are given the full picture of what’s to be expected in the industry. The insurance industry is going through a considerable period of transition; with technology being the frontrunner in how business is being conducted. It is essential for us to stay ahead of the game and to know where we are headed. These two days with CLIEDIS do precisely that. This event is an excellent starting point for someone just getting familiar with feeds, as it is for someone that’s been involved with data feeds for years. There is a place for everyone at this event, and it comes as my strong suggestion to get involved sooner, rather than later.

AUTHOR: Meghan Lafferty


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