FICP Profile

Kim Boriin, CMP, events marketing specialist, Guardian Investor Services LLC, is serving his final year as FICP vice president, education. We caught up with him recently to talk about the association's education initiatives and the opportunities he sees for financial and insurance conference planners moving forward.

Q:
What is your advice to FICP members on how to survive the economic maelstrom?

A: Remember that planners and hospitality partners are strategic allies who move business objectives forward. Now is the time to use the Blue Ocean practice of moving away from what's not working for our clients, highlighting what is working — and implementing new services. This is not the time to hold back. We need to make sure that every meeting, incentive program, and educational event is focused on achieving our business objectives.

What are your goals and objectives as FICP VP, education for 2009?

We are laser-focused on educational support for members and hospitality partners. Educational content in both face-to-face meetings such as the Education Forum and in desktop education via webinars and talk radio will center on industry trends and include immediate takeaways on how to create extraordinary experiences for our attendees — as well as improved return on objectives for our companies.

Bring us up-to-date on FICP's Web education focus in 2009

In this economy, it's more important than ever to offer opportunities for virtual education — and FICP has some excellent programs in the works this year. These include talk radio programs in February and May, as well as webinars in March and September. Two additional online events will be scheduled later in the year, after we roll out new designs and interactive components on ficpnet.com. We are also archiving a variety of content online that will serve as a resource and reference library for our members and hospitality partners going forward.

What are some of the topics in the February and March talk radio and webinar programs?

On our February 18 radio discussion, a panel of experts led a conversation about the strategic role of meeting professionals, the rising cost of air travel, and opportunities to move business goals forward (see article on page 12). On our March 18 webinar, “Ten Strategies to Maximize Your Value,” Michele Wierzgac discusses strategies for aligning meeting and event objectives with organizational strategy. Please visit ficpnet.com for more information as upcoming programs are finalized.

You've been a huge proponent of green meetings and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Why are these important?

Going green and giving back continue to be important parts of almost every company's corporate mission statement. We can all seize the opportunity to design meetings with sustainable business practices and relationship-building CSR events that fit our new business models. There are a number of ways of framing these efforts so they benefit both the bottom line and future business. Green, to me, means sustainable, healthy, forward thinking, and state of the art. CSR means embracing our company's mission to give back, and sharing these values through our meetings and events.

What are some of the highlights of the 2009 Education Forum?

Our theme this year is “Changemakers: Moving Mountains.” We're offering dynamic panels designed to facilitate discussions with our peers about trends and best practices. We're focusing on content that highlights the strategic value of meetings. We're also incorporating our “Community Give Back” program by having backpacks for all attendees that will be given to a local charity when the meeting is over.

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your two years as FICP's VP, education?

Talk radio has taken off, and it's an example of a sustainable business practice in the simplest form. The Education Forum has been built out with more educational content, including this year's community giveback component. The remarkable ROI of meetings is that we produce ever-changing experiences for our clients and attendees so that each event has the potential to create a long-lasting, positive experience.