Satisfy Qualifiers' Need for Speed Think it's time for an alternative to the annual golf tournament? How about some friendly competition at the race track, with participants fully outfitted in racing suits and helmets? Interactive Motorsports Entertainment (IME), based in Scottsdale, can hook you up with racing schools all over the country that offer programs for corporate meetings. Ranging in size from 12 to 150 participants, these programs include everything from drag-racing school, where attendees drive souped-up street cars and learn how to recover from skids and drive defensively, to speeding around a track in scaled-down versions of the rocket-like race cars you watch in the Indy 500.

Robert Prevost is president and CEO of IME, which acts as an agent for the country's top racing schools. (His fee is paid by the schools, not by the client.) Prevost says a lot of participants walk away from the programs wanting more--even women. "Women tend to be much better at the end of the day than the guys are," he says. "They listen better and they learn more."

Programs can be customized around teambuilding, risk management, or other themes. For information, call IME at (602) 953-9432.

Insurance Notes * Recently joining the ranks of Certified Meeting Professionals (CMPs)--now totaling 4,289 people--are the following insurance conference planners: Dawn Bell, Professional Insurance Agents of California/Nevada, Sacramento, Calif.; Al Jackson, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Novato, Calif.; Laura Clark and Paulette Sorenson, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Plymouth, Minn.; Stephen Clark, CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, Wis.; Colleen Fiore, Society of Actuaries, Elgin, Ill.; Kimberly Fox, Colonial Casualty Insurance Company, Dallas, Texas; Linda Wagner, Kemper Insurance Companies, Long Grove, Ill.; and David Gary Walbridge, National Association of Life Underwriters, Washington, D.C.

The CMP exam is administered by the Convention Liaison Council. The next test dates are June 20 and, in conjunction with the Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress in San Diego, July 11. Call (202) 626-2709 for an application.

* The average member of the Million Dollar Round Table is male, 49 years old, college-educated, has been in the financial services industry for 20 years, and has qualified for MDRT 12 times (median: nine).

* The Life Insurance Research Marketing Association recently released a comprehensive sales training program, "Fundamentals of Needs-based Selling--Foundations for Success." Designed with an eye toward market-con- duct issues, this program can be customized to include a company's specific culture and policies. LIMRA will update the program continually to reflect any new rules or regulations. For more information, call (800) 235-4672.

* Is the Internet a valuable sales and marketing tool? Producers have no idea. More than 2,000 producers, surveyed last fall by the LIMRA and the National Association of Life Underwriters, were asked whether or not they agree with the statement "The Internet will significantly change how insurance is sold/bought over the next few years." The most common response: "not sure" (43 percent).

Likewise, asked whether or not they agree that "The Internet will be an efficient way for agents to get marketing and training materials from a company home office," almost half (47 percent) said they are "not sure."