An earlier start on Sunday and earlier wrapup on Wednesday are among the changes in this year’s Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Annual Conference, set for November 11–14 at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

Here are some of the highlights.

1. The Tech Showcase starts at noon Sunday.
If there’s one thing that will characterize the 2012 Annual Conference, it’s technology immersion. It all starts at noon on Sunday, with the opening of the technology showcase, where you can try the latest meeting technologies, including apps and tools optimized for iPads. Don’t have an iPad? You will! Each attendee without an iPad will be given one to use during the meeting, providing hands-on access to the featured technology services. This is your chance to play with a tablet—and learn how it can make you more productive, informed, creative, and cutting-edge.

2. An opening general session brings everyone together Sunday afternoon.
After the First-Time Attendee Meet and Greet session at 2 p.m., all attendees will come together for a general session at 3:30 p.m. Meet this year’s fantastic emcee (more about her below), learn how to make the most of your time at the meeting, and say hello to old and new friends before heading off to The Network.

3. The Network follows Sunday’s opening general session.
The Network runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., immediately following the general session. Do business, win prizes, and enjoy light F&B at this reception-oriented tabletop networking event—always full of buzz and energy as new relationships are made and old friends reconnect.

4. Manage the mix of generations …
… after Monday’s general session, that is, which will be as entertaining as it is useful. The three generations represented in our FICP audience each will relate to at least one of the three presenters: Amy Lynch, Seth Mattison, and Kim Lear. As “cultural translators” from the consulting and training company BridgeWorks, the three are experts in intergenerational communication—a must-have skill as organizations often include four generations among the work force.

5. “It’s a wrap!” at 10:15 a.m.
Because of the new opening general session, FICP has shortened the final morning’s session, allowing East Coast–based attendees time to catch their flights home. So stick around for the final session! You will not want to miss singer/songwriter Jewel, as she shares how she went from living in a van to pop stardom. Now she is a philanthropist and a mom as well. She will have her guitar in hand while she tells her story, so expect to enjoy intimate versions of some of her biggest hits.

6. The Best Mix of Education and Networking
What won’t be changing this year:

  • A variety of breakout sessions in tracks such as meeting planning solutions, strategic meeting planning, and professional development; a focus on technology tools and solutions for meetings and meeting management; the speaker showcase that will allow attendees to preview keynote-level speakers for their own meetings; and, new this year, a track designed for planners to showcase their best events with fellow planners.
  • Compelling keynote speakers, such as industry luminary Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association
  • Amazing evening events, including a final night gala in the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton, site of the annual Golden Globes award ceremony
  • An experienced emcee, new to FICP, who will take us through each jam-packed day: Laura Schwartz. She’s an emcee who has been in your shoes, having handled more than 1,000 events as White House director of events during the Clinton Administration.
  • FICP’s tradition of giving back will continue with a silent auction benefiting Junior Achievement of Southern California

The FICP Web site has the full agenda and online registration, which is open now. Register before September and save $100.