More than 150 meeting planners and hospitality partners met at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, June 18 to 20, for Financial & Insurance Conference Planners 2008 Education Forum. This year, 17 workshops and general sessions reflected a range of presentation styles and hot industry issues, from green meetings to ethics.

The FICP forum was book-ended by two unconventional, interactive sessions that led attendees, myself among them, to several “aha!” moments. During the opening session, “What’s My Communication Style?” presenters from Lapdog Inc. helped people to identify their preferred styles of communication—direct, spirited, considerate, or systematic—and guided the audience in an exercise that helped us to learn how to communicate with others. With bandannas wrapped around our eyes, we struggled with a problem-solving exercise that forced us to communicate without sight. My “considerate” style helped to calm my tablemates during moments of frustration, while another’s “direct” style got us solving problems right away.

In a rousing concluding session, facilitators from The LifeSkills Center for Business Leadership & PATH to Greatness guided participants in an exercise that helped many to break through barriers they thought were impenetrable. After identifying our single greatest block to success, we were given waivers to sign and blocks of wood to write our obstacles on. Then, in an amazing display of group energy, people formed a circular cheering squad as others karate-chopped their blocks in half. “This was so empowering,” said one participant after successfully completing the exercise. “I can barely throw a ball two feet.”

Kim Boriin, CMP, Guardian Investor Services LLC and FICP vice president education, announced that next year’s forum will take place at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 21 to 23.

Read more about FICP’s 2008 Education Forum in the next issues of Financial & Insurance Meetings magazine and FIM Extra.