At a glance
- The much-anticipated broker event is just around the corner
- BIBA offers ‘great place to do business’
- Brokers also eagerly awaiting speeches, especially on regulation
For seasoned industry veterans and relative newcomers alike, this year’s BIBA Conference and Exhibition promises to be one of the busiest and most informative yet for brokers.
After a two-year stint in Manchester, the annual broker event, to be held over May 15-16, heads back to London and the vast surrounds of the ExCel convention centre.
“It’s a great networking event,” said Paul Harrison, Associate Director of Belmont International Insurance Brokers.
It is the number one event on the broker calendar. There is nothing to compare with its scale.
Paul Harrison, Associate Director of Belmont International Insurance Brokers
Paul, who has been to “BIBA more years than I care to remember, but probably close to 18 or 19 years”, says that this year’s incarnation is a must-visit for the broker fraternity.
“It is the number one event on the broker calendar,” he said. “There is nothing to compare with its scale. The first BIBA I attended was in Harrogate with probably just 600-700 attending. Now it runs into the thousands.”
“I have met a lot of brokers from around the country that I never would have met but for events like BIBA. And there are no other environments where you have practically every major insurance company and product provider with an exhibition stand in one room.”
BIBA offers not just networking opportunities but also the chance to conduct essential business.
“You meet a lot of the top insurance people you normally wouldn’t, especially at a more senior level that you probably wouldn’t come across in the normal working environment,” said Paul. “And although I’ve only had to do a proper business transaction at BIBA on a few occasions, due to being based near London, it is a great place for other more regional brokers to do deals as all the right people are in the room.”
BIBA, as the trade body representing insurance intermediaries across the UK, is an important cog protecting the best interests of brokers. And this year’s event promises to be one of the most important yet in terms of possibly shaping government policy as key issues, such as transparency and also the ramifications of a new regulator in the form of the Financial Conduct Authority, are still taking shape.
“The FCA is the big one,” said Paul. “So BIBA will put more flesh on the bone for that.”
The FCA’s chief executive, Martin Wheatley, is the keynote speaker at the event but it is not all work at BIBA. There are other high-profile speakers, such as British Olympic cycling star Sir Chris Hoy, to lighten the mood as well as the delegates having the opportunity to relax at a reception at close of play.