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Alliance Annual Meeting Takeaways…

Most people are satisfied if they walk away from a conference or convention with one good idea that they can put to use in their own organization. Based on your comments to me, this year’s Alliance Annual Meeting delivered results well beyond those expectations. Here are just a few of my personal “takeaways” from the event in no particular order:AFA15-3098

– You don’t have to be on social media to be successful. But if you’re going to be there, make a commitment to it. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or another venue, make sure your content is fresh and frequently updated.   At the very least you should be aware of what others are saying about your organization on these social media outlets.

– Social media makes a horrible sales tool but a terrific connection tool. For fraternals, social media is an ideal way to connect members to the society and each other in a cost effective way. Can you say “virtual lodge?”

– The fraternal model has cross-generational appeal, but the message – both the content and delivery method – needs to be tailored to each audience. Boomers want to be a part of your society’s “team.” Millennials want to feel like your society is made to fit them individually.

– Today’s consumers — young and mature — are going to do their homework on you. Better make sure your web site gives them the information they need in a way that makes sense to them.

– There are very specific steps you can take to reduce the chances of being hacked. But even if you take every one of them, you still need to buy cyber liability insurance.

– It’s not if your society has a security breach, but when it has a security breach. No company is too small to be impacted. If you don’t have cybersecurity insurance in place, you will come to regret it.


– NAIC Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure (CGAD) reporting applies to all insurers, even fraternals – there are no exemptions under the NAIC CGAD  reporting requirement. If you haven’t started the process to review your governance structure to provide this information to your state regulator, you are already behind the 8 ball. If it hasn’t been enacted in your state yet, it will be enacted sometime in 2016.

– Don’t be afraid to explore sub-niches of your common bond. Military families, single moms, parents of special needs children, may all exist within your ethnic, faith-based, gender, or shared values bonds and the fraternal model may have exceptional appeal to them.

– Yes, there will always be a place for professional agents and advisors, but if you’re not at least thinking about an on-line sales option, you may be missing the opportunity to attract a significant segment of the next generation of members.

– Learning is done in the general sessions and workshops. But business – and lots of it – is done in the halls, lobby, and lounges of the hotel.

– The role of research cannot be underestimated in (re)positioning your society/products. Finding the right niche where you have a compelling story and a competitive advantage is not something that is easy or can be rushed.


– Statistics prove that volunteers are also inclined to give more out of their pockets. Your members are philanthropic and whether through bequests, grant making, or otherwise, there is potential for partnerships with other philanthropic organizations like foundations.

– Online games can be used to increase your members financial literacy, which could lead to additional purchases. Research shows that, “Players learn without being aware that they are learning.” May be a great way to teach me about that term life insurance policy – and then I can level up.

– The MyPath initiative website is a way to show young people that a career in the insurance industry is not dull – that there are limitless opportunities to find, as Cam said, “a good job, that makes you happy.” Your society should have a partner page on their site so these young professionals can find and work for you.

– A dedicated, motivated, and exceptionally professional staff — like the Alliance’s — makes the Annual Meeting a much more enjoyable event for member societies and the CEO! Thanks to each of them for their incredible contributions to a hugely successful meeting.

Got a “takeaway” you’d like to add? Post it right here…

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