Dear ICPA Members and Hospitality Partners:
Rarely is change easy. Moving the ICPA headquarters from its office in Vancouver, British Columbia, saying good-bye to hardworking and loyal staff, broadening the scope of membership to include financial services planners, and forging a new strategic direction is a lot of change. Making these decisions certainly was not easy for the ICPA Board of Directors. They were, however, necessary to position ICPA for the future.
At the same time, our profession is undergoing unprecedented change. Some of our existing challenges include:
Change within the companies we work for. There is a growing need for planners to sell the value of their positions (and ICPA membership) to their companies.
Mergers and consolidations within the insurance and financial services companies are impacting jobs.
Economic factors are contributing to diminishing participation in associations, where companies that once supported multiple memberships now support one, or none at all!
According to former GE CEO Jack Welch, “If the pace of change outside your organization is faster than the pace of change within, the end is near.” I fervently believe that with challenge comes opportunity and that ICPA needs to be proactive about change. As an industry, and as an association, we must continue to be relevant and competitive, and seize our opportunities to remain strong.
Sustaining Our Membership
The ICPA Board of Directors recently made a strategic decision to open its membership to include financial services planners. Considering the changes within our industry and the membership challenges facing many associations, there is a need to look at ways to diversify our business and attract new members to assist ICPA in sustaining our membership base.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a small focus group in New York for planners in the financial services industry to introduce them to ICPA. The commonalities in our business were readily apparent, and they were excited to learn that ICPA was an option for them. I am confident that the financial services planners will add new ideas and fresh perspectives to the ICPA membership.
Some Things Are Sacred
Several planner members and Hospitality Partners have raised questions about ICPA's culture. How are we going to move the association forward and maintain the warm, intimate community that makes ICPA unique?
It is critical that we keep intact the close networking community that distinguishes ICPA. It was an important consideration when deciding to move the association headquarters and select our new executive director. As we position the association for the future, ICPA will stay committed to its core values.
The Board realized that to achieve all its goals, ICPA needed to change its management to one where the day-to-day member services can continue to be provided at a high level, in concert with strategic leadership, without losing our culture and traditions. This will bring greater value and benefits to the association and give us the best opportunity to continue to be successful in the long term.
ICPA is poised to become a more strategic, faster, more flexible organization — with high-touch personal attention — while maintaining its commitment to offer high-tech communications through our Web site at www.icpanet.com. After all, this is what distinguishes ICPA as one of the most highly respected organization in the meetings industry.
Debbie Boschee, CMP
2004 ICPA Annual Meeting: November 14 to 18, The Grand Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
THIS YEAR'S ANNUAL meeting theme, “Wisdom of Yesterday, Eye on Tomorrow: Together We Paddle as One,” speaks to today's issues. As planners addressing the challenges related to the insurance and financial services profession, we're all in the same boat. It simply makes sense that as ICPA members we use our collective wisdom to prepare ourselves and our companies for a better tomorrow. The Design Team has assembled an excellent program focused on continued learning and networking. Popular sessions unique to ICPA, the planner-only and HP-only sessions, will be back, and there will be face-to-face networking opportunities galore!
A High-Octane Keynote
Tim Sanders, Chief Solutions Officer of Yahoo!, will deliver the keynote address on, “The Compassionate Leader.” Sanders, the author of Love Is The Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, suggests that happy employees and satisfied customers, not technology, drive business. He offers advice on how to build relationships with knowledge, networking, and compassion.
The keynote presentation will be followed by concurrent breakout sessions on:
- Social Security Reform
- Demonstrating Your Value
- Stretching Your F&B Budget
- Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley Legislation
And more! Many of the breakout sessions will repeat on Tuesday.
Strategic Planning Discussions
Monday's programming will also include a dynamic panel discussion addressing high-level components of the planning process. We know the importance of return on investment, but what about ROO — return on objective? While price is important, the success of an event is not all about price. The panel will address the entire relationship process and the importance of elevating one's skill set from that of a logistical planner to one of a strategic thinker and partner.
Tuesday's programming includes the Marketplace where planners and Hospitality Partners come together to learn more about each other's needs. Planners can collect years' worth of information by visiting the marketplace floor. Tuesday afternoon features additional breakout sessions and the Planner Exchange session.
Maui's Finest Meeting Facilities
Evening events will showcase some of Hawaii's best facilities:
- Saturday: Planners-only event at the Four Seasons Wailea
- Saturday: Sponsor reception — Grand Wailea
- Sunday: Welcome reception and dinner — Grand Wailea
- Monday: Dinner and entertainment at the Marriott Wailea
- Tuesday: Reception and picnic dinner with entertainment on the beach — Fairmont Hotels
- Wednesday: Closing reception, dinner, and entertainment — Grand Wailea
In summary, “The ICPA Annual Meeting is a showcase of our profession's leading-edge, most creative ideas,” says Ken Juel, ICPA Immediate Past President and Program Chair of the 2004 Annual Meeting. Juel, who is manager, sales incentives and recognition with Mutual of Omaha, continues, “Planners can't run the risk of doing the same-old every year. We need to stay in front of our customers and keep offering new and exciting experiences. ICPA is the place!”
For more information as the Annual Meeting program develops, please refer to the ICPA Web site at www.icpanet.com. Full program information will be available in late July.
The Grand Wailea Resort
ICPA's 2004 Annual Meeting will be held at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa in Maui, Hawaii. Built in 1991, the resort features luxurious accommodations, award-winning cuisine, the Spa Grande, championship golf and tennis, and an array of recreational facilities and outdoor activities. Meeting space includes 22 meeting and boardrooms, the 28,000 square-foot Haleakala Ballroom, and eight unique venues for outdoor and oceanfront events.
The Official Newsletter of the ICPA, an association of insurance and financial services conference planners