Every summer, FMH hosts The Exchange event to provide an opportunity for reinsurance clients to come together, network, learn, and interact with each other, as well as with the FMH team who supports them throughout the year. It’s an event many look forward to every year, and in 2020, it looked a little different.
Fortunately, the FMH Meeting and Events team was at the cutting edge of all the changes that were occurring in the event space this year and worked closely with the Reinsurance team to pivot the usually three-day, in-person event to a one-day, digital event. Held virtually on June 24, Reinsurance client companies were able to tune into live-streamed presentations, interactive panel discussions, on-demand sessions, and even a happy hour.
Keynote speakers included artist Phil Hansen, whose presentation encouraged people to “Embrace the Shake” by looking for opportunities in the challenges life throws at us; Martiz Chairman and CEO Steve Martiz, who discussed how leaders can create success for their businesses for generations to come; and closing remarks from speaker David Okerlund, whose presentation, “I Loved the Depression,” inspired everyone.
FMH staff hosted discussions about managing through a crisis, technology security, and the impact the pandemic will have on the reinsurance industry moving forward.
“This digital format was, in my opinion, a great success,” said one attendee. “It was very professional and very moving.” Other attendees appreciated the fact multiple employees could attend, and many noted that the topics were relevant and impactful.
Ron Kuethe, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, describes the decision to hold the event: "At the beginning of the year, before the pandemic, we had selected the event theme ‘Embrace the Shake’ based on keynote speaker Phil Hansen’s presentation. Little did we know at that point, just how appropriate that theme would be. As the pandemic hit, we questioned whether we would even be able host the event, then we decided to embrace the shake ourselves and look for other opportunities to still host The Exchange in 2020."
Kuethe added, “While we all missed the opportunity to get together face-to-face, it also presented new benefits in that board members and office staff who normally wouldn’t be able to attend because of the travel involved could now participate.”
With a virtual approach, the idea to have more Exchange-related touchpoints throughout the year with client companies has become a reality. After the digital event, The Exchange On-Demand website was created for more content to be uploaded regularly, so each company can access the presentations from the event, as well as new videos and sessions throughout the coming year.
“While we all hope to be able to conduct this meeting in person next year in Austin, Texas, we know for sure that we want to continue the Exchange On-Demand feature in the future,” said Kuethe.