The meeting industry's longest-standing planner association is looking to change its name. If planner members approve a bylaws revision in September, Insurance Conference Planners Association (ICPA) will become Financial & Insurance Conference Planners ().
ICPA is an association with a strong history — one steeped in relationships between planners and hospitality partners. Some of our members have been with us for more than 40 of our nearly 50 years! Along with this history comes a great amount of brand equity in the association's name. The ICPA Board has taken its responsibility as stewards of this association very seriously, while looking at its best long-term interests.
Earlier this year, after analyzing the trends of our industry and gaining feedback from members and hospitality partners, it became clear that the association should pursue a name change to more accurately represent our future members/customers.
At the same time, we conducted a member survey that confirmed that most current members perceive themselves as working for a company associated with the financial services area. We also conducted a series of focus groups with planners from financial services companies to gauge their interests. One of the key findings was that not incorporating the word financial into our name has been a deterrent to their joining.
While preserving our identity is important to us, it is also important to continue to evolve in order to keep the association strong and in touch with its changing membership. The past two years have been very important for ICPA, as we relocated the headquarters office and changed the management structure of our association.
In August, an ICPA Board and staff member visited each ICPA regional chapter meeting to discuss the name change and address the association's future. A town hall meeting is scheduled for September 27 in Chicago in conjunction with ITME, from 11 a.m. to noon. All planner members and hospitality partners are invited to attend.
As we begin to lay the groundwork for the next 50 years, we do so by embarking on a name change in conjunction with bylaws revisions that will bring the association up-to-date with association law and include best practices in the association management field. These are improvements that will make your association stronger and more viable well into the future.
Throughout September, ICPA members will have the opportunity to vote on the name change and bylaws revisions. A letter and ballot will be mailed to every current ICPA planner member along with a description of the proposed amendments and the fully revised bylaws. The vote, according to the current bylaws, will require a two-thirds approval of planner members. If the vote does not carry, the association could again ask for a two-thirds vote at the Annual Meeting, provided that at least 51 percent of the membership is present. Therefore, it is essential for every member to cast his or her vote.
New York, New York!
ICPA was founded in 1957 as the first association for meeting planners, holding its inaugural annual meeting in New York in 1958. It is only fitting that the association should return to New York for its 48th Annual Conference, November 6 to 10 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The Design Team has planned an educational program with more breakout sessions than ever. The educational program is highlighted by keynote sessions from Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels, and Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City. Of course, there will be many opportunities to network with your peers in various social environments. Registration is open on the Web site at www.icpanet.com.
Win a Free Trip
ICPA planner members and hospitality partners who recruit a new ICPA member qualify for the annual grand prize membership drawing for a free trip to Arizona, site of the 2007 ICPA Annual Conference. Anytime a planner member or HPer refers a new qualifying planner member to ICPA, and that person joins the association by October 31, 2005, the planner's name will go into a drawing for the grand prize. It includes a three-night stay in Arizona hosted by the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, two roundtrip economy tickets provided by American Airlines, and much more. Many thanks to our generous sponsors! Remember, the more referrals you make that result in a new planner member joining ICPA, the more times your name will go into the drawing! Start encouraging your friends, colleagues, and clients to join today. Good luck!
John Touchette, CMP