As insurance marketing organizations have become increasingly important players in the financial services industry, they’ve begun to sponsor their own incentive trips for top-selling agents.

"Ten years ago there were few, if any, IMOs that were hosting incentive programs," says Ed Ledford, president and CEO of Marketshare Financial Inc., an IMO in Indianapolis. "Today, it’s a growing market."

Insurance Marketing Organizations provide a range of services to independent agents; most IMOs offer their contracted agents access to the products of dozens of carriers. According to Jim Henson, senior vice president of Shenandoah Life in Roanoke, Va., IMOs act as extensions of a company’s marketing department. "Agents can go elsewhere and find similar products to sell with comparable compensation rates," he notes. "What can set an IMO apart are the incentive trips."

Look for the May/June issue of Insurance Conference Planner magazine to find out more about IMO meetings.