LTC Bullet:  Virtual Visit to the 13th Annual Intercompany LTCI Conference in Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Seattle—

The 13th Annual Intercompany LTCI Conference, co-sponsored by the LTCi section of the Society of Actuaries, held March 3-6, at the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas was another excellent industry event.  Aiming “to enhance the dialogue between producers, technology and the risks looming in the LTC industry,” the conference did just that by bringing together 700+ attendees, close to 60 exhibitors and 40+ sponsors and co-sponsors.  A broad range of over 48 educational sessions offered ample occasions for learning and professional development, while receptions and meals provided many valuable opportunities for networking with a diverse range of industry professionals.  With Steve unable to attend the conference and Damon busy volunteering at conference registration, we decided to recruit some Center for Long-Term Care Reform friends and members, all of whom attended the conference, to submit some of their impressions.  For doing so, we wish to thank: 

Overall, the mood of the conference was one of optimism and motivation.  In reference to this, Sally Leimbach states:  “Several Exhibitors seemed to me to be relatively small providers vying to become a part of the process of underwriting LTCi or providing services at time of claim.  To me, that showed optimism about the growth of the market among providers.”  Sally continues by mentioning she encountered “[m]ore optimism than expected.  It rubbed off.  I have come back reenergized for educating people to plan for LTC and selling to assist to meet the ever important need.”  What an excellent reminder of why events like this are so important to the industry.

Many conference attendees in Dallas expressed high satisfaction with the value of networking opportunities with industry professionals as well as the quality of educational content.  Honey Leveen states: 

For marketing people like me, the SOA [ILTCI conference] is valuable.  I gain insight into the LTCi product, its actuarial, underwriting, and other elements I would otherwise not learn about. I learn about the latest LTCi sales approaches, both from the sessions and from colleagues. I learn about upcoming LTCi products.  Also, I get breaking news on LTCi national politics.  I feel my attendance at SOA conferences definitely gives me a competitive edge.

A first-time ILTCI conference attendee, Stephen Forman, acknowledges challenges inherent to providing educational sessions that would appeal to such a diverse group of attendees:  “How can you appeal to the interests of hundreds of individual attendees when scheduling so many diverse topics?  You can’t.  Overall, the workshops I attended were terrific, both in educational value and quality of presenters.”

Stephen Forman also commented on conference attendees:

There was a terrific sense of camaraderie among the attendees, and so many folks were friendly.  This was a great chance to meet Home Office friends, “Hey, I’ve emailed you a thousand times, nice to put a face with a name!” and to meet your LinkedIn and Twitter friends, “Oh, it’s you!”  Since I personally do a lot of writing, it was very validating to finally meet folks in person who’ve read my pieces, “Hey, you’re the guy who wrote that article!”  What’s not to like about that?

One aspect of the conference that absolutely caused a buzz was the keynote speaker, Frank Abagnale.  Recognized as “one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents,” Mr. Abagnale engendered polarized reactions to his selection as keynote speaker; nevertheless, attendees raved about his presentation.  Here’s Claude Thau’s take:  “Frank Abagnale’s key-note presentation was excellent.  It was an unexpected, yet strong, call for ethical behavior and training.  BRAVO!  We should show the DVD to our families, friends, associates and politicians.”

Another popular benefit of this conference is the subsidized (by the ILTCI conference) tuition of Harley Gordon’s CLTC Master Class.  Conference attendees were able to enroll in the class at a dramatically reduced price and earn their CLTC—the LTC industry’s esteemed and ubiquitous professional designation.  Here’s Stephen Forman on the CLTC Master Class:

Terrific content, one-of-a-kind presentation.  From speaking with my classmates, I think many shared my takeaway:  Harley Gordon’s message is a game-changer (moving away from a risk-based conversation to one that is based on consequences.  In this way, our market expands from merely those who have experienced an extended care event to anyone in America who loves his or her family).  However, successful execution of this content will rely on our ability to translate it into our own voices.

Final thoughts:  What I take home from each ILTCI conference, and this is true for the AALTCI Producers Summit as well, is a renewed sense of appreciation for the LTCi industry and all the talented people in it who devote themselves to protecting others from the risk and cost of long-term care.  It’s a diverse group of attendees, but I’ve noticed that what draws many to the industry (and to these conferences) are personal long-term care experiences and the resulting desire to help others plan for their long-term care needs.  Many thanks are due to Jim Glickman, everyone on the conference organizing committee, Meeting Masters, Hilton Anatole staff and, of course, all the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees for making this event exceptional.  See you next time.