This Thursday, September 8, 2011, the Insurance Library of Boston will hold its Education Fair beginning at 3p.m. While most of you have probably received the email alert about this event, Agency Checklists’ thought it might be interesting to hear why the Library Staff think you should come. We spoke with Reference Librarian Sarah Hart about why this is a must-do event for agents:
Why did the Insurance Library decide to hold this Education Fair? Why now?
Last fall, major changes occurred in some of the national designation courses The Library offers. We wanted an opportunity to meet with students and others interested in insurance education to address questions that they might have in light of these changes. We are interested in promoting the visibility of the library, promoting our educational services and providing opportunities for networking.
As for the timing of the event, our library provides continuing education courses year round, but there is a special emphasis on spring and fall courses. We wanted to kick off our fall session this year with this big gathering. There is a particular need for many licensed agents and brokers to earn significant numbers of continuing education credits before a December 31, 2011 deadline, and we’d like them to know how we can help them earn those credits in ways that will also help them on a day-to-day basis through the myriad of courses and seminars we sponsor.
What should agents know about it?
The Education Fair officially starts at 3pm, but will continue till about 7pm. There is no need to stay the entire time, attendees are encouraged to drop by when it’s convenient and partake in those activities in which they are interested.
Why is it in their interest to attend?
In addition to a representative from The Institutes and Library staff, we will also have a number of instructors available to discuss courses we offer and to provide education counseling. There are a lot of crossover courses which can count for more than one designation and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out which path is the best. We hope to provide more personalized guidance for students. It is a good time for people who are considering taking a class or starting a designation program to ask questions directly to some of the instructors who teach the classes.
We also hope that this event provides a networking opportunity for those who attend. A lot of the Insurance Industry depends on knowing the right people. We believe there will be a good mix of people who are new to the industry as well as those who are more established. Whether you’re looking for new talent, or you’re eager to meet someone with expertise in the field this event will be a nice, informal, atmosphere in which to do it.
What activities are planned?
The Library will offer two courses eligible for producer and adjuster continuing education credits that same day.
The morning session, Boiler & Machinery – It’s Not What it Used to Be, with instructor Ann Roemer of Hartford Steam Boiler will begin at 9 AM and end at 12 PM. It is approved for 3 Massachusetts credit hours.
The afternoon session, Identity Theft & Data Protection for Insurance Professionals, with instructor David Speciale of Identity Theft 911, has already filled up!
Because they’re offered in conjunction with the Education Fair, these courses are being specially priced at $80 for non-members of the library and $50 for members of The Library. To register for the Boiler & Machinery course, please visit our ecommerce website: https://shop.insurancelibrary.org/
We will have drawings for various prizes starting at 3:30PM and continuing until 6:30PM (there is no need to be present to win).
Instructors will be available to discuss various AICPCU programs as well as Library specific seminars and on-site training opportunities.
We also have refreshments and insurance related items to give away (a number of insurance publishers have very generously given us extra copies of their publications).
What do you hope agents will get out of this fair?
We would like to showcase the educational opportunities available through The Insurance Library. We have a long history of educating those in the insurance industry, having offered courses since the 1890s. The Library’s courses are taught by leading professionals in the field of insurance and its specialties. We not only provide classes for nationally recognized designations, but we have a number of seminars that have been designed by library instructors as a result of student interest.
We hope that the attendees will leave the event with a greater understanding of the designation programs in which they’re interested. As we mentioned before, we also hope that attendees can use this event as a networking opportunity. The event will be considered a success if attendees leave with more information about the industry as a whole.
For a new agent, what do you suggest?
We definitely recommend that a new agent considers taking the Boiler and Machinery course offered earlier in the day. It’s eligible for continuing education credits (when you need 60 credits every little bit helps) and will provide the student with information he or she probably don’t already have. The Education Fair is also a great time for them to explore different designation programs available as well as get to know some of The Library’s instructors. We also hope that this event provides networking opportunities and that attendees leave with more information about insurance generally.
For veteran agents with many years of CLE classes, what do you recommend, why should they come?
Veteran agents should definitely consider taking the Boiler & Machinery course we’re offering; as it says in the title, “It’s Not What it Used to Be!” We also think that veteran agents will be interested in changes that have taken place in the national designation programs (especially if they’ve taken some classes toward a designation but not all). We welcome suggestions for new class topics, by attending the event they can make us aware of courses they’d like to see in the future. Some veteran agents are facing a situation where they need a large amount of credits before December 31st. By attending the event, they can map out a plan to get the credits they need before the Division of Insurance deadline.
Agents who are still on the fence about whether on not to attend, should email Sarah Hart directly with any questions or concerns.