The Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Board of Directors and 2011 Annual Conference Design Team have been spreading the word about this year’s meeting, set for November 13–16 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, and registration numbers are climbing fast. We got the inside scoop on the meeting's top draws:

1. The Ratio
As always, one of the best things about FICP’s annual conference is its balance of planners to hospitality partners, a controlled ratio that allows for maximum networking.

2. The Specialty
FICP's annual meeting is the longest-running annual event exclusively for meeting planners in the insurance and financial services industries.

3. The Education
Thirty breakout sessions will cover topics from creating new and different awards dinners, to working with unions, travel and meeting trends, international meetings, and handling attendees’ dietary restrictions.

4. The Innovation
The first-ever Technology Showcase is a forum where attendees can meet with leading technology suppliers and see them demonstrate their products and services, including online surveys, event production, networking devices, and social media tools.

5. The Big Names
Keynote speakers include journalist and world traveler Lisa Ling, who sent a video personally inviting FICP members to join her at the meeting; mountain climber Aron Ralston, who inspired the film 127 Hours; and author and humorist Mark Gungor.

6. The Laughs
There’s a new emcee! See how comedian Greg Schwem engages the audience. Maybe he could add a spark to your next program.

7. The Sharing
The Planners’ Exchange is a closed-door session where FICP members and potential members can share feedback on vendors, destinations, and future meeting plans.

8. The Network
FICP knows how to do a tabletop trade show, and it’s called The Network. First of all, you can get a margarita at the door. Second, you can target the hospitality partners you really need to see and get to them on the first afternoon of the conference. Take care of business or make plans to connect later. It’s a great way to start the meeting.

9. The Special Events
Attendees will experience three great networking evenings: a Mexican fiesta at Sunset Station, life on a modern Texas cattle ranch at Knibbe Ranch in San Antonio Hill Country, and an elegant gala evening with Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh.

10. The Giving Back
Proceeds from FICP’s 10th silent auction will benefit Family Violence Prevention Services Inc., which offers programs for women and children living on less than $10,000 annual income.

Find complete agenda information and registration forms at the FICP Web site. Companies who register three planner members get the fourth registration for free. Do it now! Registration closes October 31 or when capacity is reached.