Message from the Board

As our industry continues to change, the Insurance Conference Planners Association is frequently asked about how an independent meeting planner can become a member. Even within our organization many of the existing members who once worked for an insurance or financial services company are now working for themselves.

Basically, an independent meeting planner is eligible for membership in ICPA if he or she can obtain a letter from one eligible financial services or insurance company documenting that he is, in fact, consulting directly for that company and is authorized on behalf of that company to be a member of ICPA. In this capacity, the independent planner is actually representing the financial services or insurance company and not his own interests. The individual can at no time attempt to recruit new clients through ICPA nor can he or she promote his own company.

Although the independent planner may have other clients — both within and outside of the financial services or insurance industry — their participation in ICPA is only on behalf of one eligible client. The affiliation with ICPA will be with the financial services or insurance company, not the independent planner's company.

For example, if Bob Smith of Bob Smith Events is representing Insurance Company X as a planner in ICPA, he will be listed on all attendance lists, Web sites, and directories as Bob Smith, Consultant, Insurance Company X. Some individuals have found that they are not able to represent themselves that way publicly, due to conflicts with confidentiality agreements, while others do not want to limit themselves to serving just one company. However, while there can be a fine line between independent planners and third party marketing, ICPA's goal is to be as flexible and fair as possible while maintaining the integrity and standards of membership.

Please visit to learn more about ICPA membership.
John Touchette, CMP
General Director, Meeting Mgmt.
John Hancock Financial Services

Save the Dates

Don't miss these great opportunities for learning and networking! Go to for more information.

August 17 to 19

2003 Great Lakes Chapter Meeting

  • Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Grand Geneva, Wis.
    Contact Jerry Schmidt, CMP, Trustmark Insurance, (847) 615-1500,

August 22 to 24

2003 Canadian Chapter Meeting

November 2 to 6

2003 ICPA Annual Meeting

  • Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee, Fla. Contact Karen R. Hopkinson, FLMI, ICPA headquarters, (604) 988-2054, or Helen Peters, ICPA headquarters, (604) 988-2054,


Don't wait to register: ICPA's two-day educational Forum July 17 to 19 at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is limited to 60 meeting planners from the insurance or financial services industry. Registration fees are $250 for ICPA planner members and $325 for non-ICPA planners. Room rates at the Ritz-Carlton are $125 plus 13 percent tax and $2 occupancy tax. USA Hosts have offered a very reduced ground transfer price for attendees arriving on July 16 or July 17 and departing on July 19 or July 20.

A special thanks to Forum Design Team members: Program Chair Gary Pearson, AON; Leanne Acton, CMM, Penn Mutual Life Insurance; Dick Adler, American Family Insurance; Laura Baukol, Allianz Insurance Co.; Melissa Cohill, ValMark Securities; Pam Ferguson, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.; Karen Hopkinson, FLMI, ICPA; and John Touchette, CMP, John Hancock Financial Services.

The following is a tentative itinerary at press time in early April. Please go to for online registration and an update of the Forum program.


9 a.m. to noon

  • Forum meeting registration. Refreshments sponsored by Hyatt Hotels, folders sponsored by Tourisme Montréal, and amenity sponsored by Palace Resorts.

  • Online update of ICPANET Profiles by

  • Lunch sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission
    1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Program: Enhancing Your Professional Profile in the Office — Unmasking Opportunities

  • Power E-mailing Technology Management presented by Corbin Ball, CMP

  • Find Your Rhythm in the Office Q & A

  • Break sponsored by Four Seasons Hotels

  • How to Manage Your Desk & Your Day moderated by Pam McQueen.

  • Report-outs.
    6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  • Depart for an off-property evening with opening reception at Jackson Square and dinner at the Moore Goldstein Historical House. Sponsors for this evening include Bonnie Boyd & Co., K.Paul's Culinary, and Fiesta Americana Hotels — Cancun & Los Cabos.

  • Return to the Ritz-Carlton hotel.


7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

  • Breakfast sponsored by Krisam Group
    8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

  • Program: Kicking It Up A Notch!

  • 2003 ICPA Annual Meeting overview presented by Debbie Boschee, CMP

  • Group Security & Contingency Planning presented by Rick Werth

  • Refreshments sponsored by Royal Caribbean

  • How to Jazz Up Your Event…Creatively, Not Costly — A panel presentation on adding value without adding cost. With Bonnie Boyd, CMP, Bonnie Boyd & Co.; John Touchette, CMP, John Hancock; and Teri Waros, Sr. Dir. Catering/Conference Services, Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

  • Tips of the Trade moderated by Pam McQueen
    Noon to 1:45 p.m.

  • Transportation to the Windsor Court Hotel sponsored by PRA New Orleans

  • Lunch, hotel site tour, and afternoon business session sponsored by Windsor Court Hotel
    2:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • So, Voodoo You Think You Are…Converting the Complainer, by special guest speaker Connie Merritt, presented by Speak.Inc. Speakers Bureau. Refreshments sponsored by Landry & Kling

  • Spice Up Your Meetings…How to Be More Efficient On-Site, a roundtable discussion moderated by Pam McQueen

  • Return to the Ritz-Carlton, transportation by PRA New Orleans
    6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  • An Evening of Hot Jazz and Cool Blues, sponsored by the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans partnering with Bonnie Boyd & Co.


7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

  • Breakfast sponsored by Hinton & Grusich
    8:45 a.m. to noon

  • Rendezvous at The Exchange! Refreshments sponsored by Fairmont Hotels

  • Parade Your Way Through the Sky — Travel Industry Trends and Update: A Recipe for Success! Where are the airlines going? Why they do what they do? Presented by American Airlines with Q & A. Moderated by Pam McQueen

  • Report-outs

  • Meeting adjourned
    12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Optional Saturday Afternoon Lunch & Tour. For a minimal cost, USA Hosts are sponsoring this lunch and tour which departs the hotel at 12:30 p.m. You will enjoy a box lunch and tour of two very famous Southern plantations before returning at 5 p.m.
    6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Saturday Evening Reception sponsored by Signature Events and Hotel Monteleone. A delightful reception at the Hotel Monteleone, followed by the sights and sounds of New Orleans nightlife.

West Coast Regional Meeting

The first ICPA West Coast regional meeting was held at the new Montage Resort and Spa, March 23 to 25. The program was very successful, with many opportunities for networking and learning. Highlights included traveling by “woody” to the Surf and Sand restaurant for lunch, visits to local attractions, dinner at an exciting venue called 7 Degrees, and experiencing the new resort.

The most significant part of the program was the time we spent together networking and sharing ideas. During our formal business meeting we had the chance to hear from four great speakers on the topics of How Congress Really Works, Competing and Surviving in a Turbulent Economy, Cohort Marketing, and Memory Fitness and Keeping Your Brain Young. We also discussed very pressing topics such as cancellation and attrition.

Thanks again to the terrific sponsors who made this special event possible. For more details, and information on future meetings, go to
Jaimee Niles,

Southeast Chapter Meeting

A dynamic exchange of ideas characterized the inaugural meeting of the Southeast Chapter of ICPA, held at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, March 20 to 21.

Discussion topics focused on issues currently challenging insurance and financial services planners, including new contract language to protect both sides in the event of a repeat of 9/11; doing more with less; justifying the role of an event planner to an organization; tips and tricks to manage the volume of inbound e-mail from unsolicited sources; how planners and hospitality partners can be creative in their sales activities; and how planners are handling electronic meeting registration: in-house or outside vendor?

The exchange of ideas was refreshing, with information and opinions freely exchanged and accepted with equanimity. With 38 planners and hospitality partners in attendance, the meeting was more of a success than anticipated. The group decided to continue Southeast Chapter meetings and talked about meeting the same time next year. There was also consensus on maintaining the one-to-one planner/supplier ratio (as closely as possible), providing for collateral displays during a cocktail hour reception, and continuing the dialogue started in Atlanta.
James R. Wolfe, CMP, NCCI Holdings

May/June 2003

The Official Newsletter of the ICPA, an association of insurance and financial services conference planners