This Big Event will take place from Thursday, October 28th to Sunday, October 31st
After last year’s virtual event, the MAIA will host its annual Big Event this week in person. This year’s theme is appropriately entitled “re.sil.ience” and will mark the first time that many in the Massachusetts insurance industry will be together again since the start of the pandemic. With that said, we emailed a couple of questions to the MAIA’s COO, Heather Kramer, about what attendees can expect at this year’s event, what if anything will be different this year, and the reasons why, those who are still on the fence about attending, should consider coming. Here is what she told us:
The Big Event is back! How has the MAIA organized this first event post-pandemic
First, let me say that we are very happy to be back in person this year!
Although virtual events serve a purpose and were especially needed during the height of the pandemic, nothing can replace being together as a community and interacting with people in person! As such, we have organized this event like we have with all previous ones – creating a robust schedule that has something for everyone! I will say we are especially excited this year to be a new venue with new features…but with our old friends and industry partners!
What if any special precautions should attendees be aware of? Will they need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test?
We are adhering to all relevant guidance, including the City of Boston’s mask mandate. Thus, no proof of vaccination or a negative test is required. We are being very mindful of COVID in our preparations and setup. Name badge and ticket distribution will be handled alphabetically in separate lines, with the people in line asked to social distance themselves. Exhibitor and attendee registration areas are in separate locations. Onsite registrations, which take longer, will have a separate line, as well. All event rooms are being set up with social distancing in mind. This limits space in each room, but everyone’s safety is our main concern. Seating will be first-come, first-served, and unlike the past, we will not be able to bring in more chairs if the rooms fill up! We are asking everyone to pre-fill sign-in sheets for CE classes in advance to minimize any lines as they enter classes.
This year’s event is also being held in a new location. Can you tell us how the change in venue came about and why you selected the Seaport for this year’s event?
We had been at the Copley for many years and it served us very well. In the last few years, many attendees had asked for a new venue and the vast majority still wanted to be in Boston, so we took this suggestion and started looking for a new location. We looked at many places and found the Westin Boston Seaport District Hotel to have what we needed. It is a fairly new hotel that is current with the room sizes and amenities our participants want. It also happens to be in one of the ‘hottest’ sections of the city right now!
For those who are on the fence about attending this year’s event, why should they come?
To me, because it is time. We serve independent insurance agents who are entrepreneurial in nature and make their own business decisions every day. We need to make the decision to reconnect and reengage with the community as a whole and in person.
What are some of the new items or features that you will be debuting at this year’s event?
As mentioned above, a whole new venue to start. We have a new program occurring on Thursday, BE Diverse, which is focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and how it can help grow your business. We have our ever-popular Trade Fair, and this year we have added a new feature called the Tech Room, dedicated to new technology companies, with each vendor getting a 15-minute spotlight to highlight their product/service and the value it can bring to an agency. And of course, all new program topics to choose from, and fun things that will happen throughout the program!
Are there any particular speakers or classes that you would like to highlight to your readers?
Such a hard question, because it is all dependent upon why you come! All of our presenters are top notch! So, if you are coming for CE, or coming for professional/business development, or coming for personal development, or perhaps just coming for the fun, we have what you want! (After planning this event over the past several months, I might be found in the Tap Your Stress Away or the Crystal Bowl Meditation session … followed up by one of the receptions with a nice, cold beverage in my hand!)
What is your recommendation for those who want to get the most out of this year’s event.
My recommendation would be to download the app, look at the schedule, and then create your own schedule within the app so you know where you want to be and when you want to be there! And of course…have some fun while you are at it!
Is there anything else, our readers should know?
We have missed you! We have worked to put on the best Big Event yet, and we hope you come and enjoy it all!