As brokers plan their itineraries for next week’s Biba Conference, Insurance Times shares top tips for how to get the most from the two-day event

On 15 and 16 May 2024, more than 9,000 insurance professionals are expected to flood Manchester, visiting Biba’s annual conference at Manchester Central.

With around 220 exhibitors showcasing products and services, a jam-packed conference agenda of thought provoking topics and networking opportunities aplenty, how should brokers plan out their time in order to get the most from the two-day event?

Emma Chapman, Biba’s conference director, shares her five top tips for having a productive conference:

1. Brokers should use the event app to plan their time. Biba 2024 is the go-to place for brokers, insurers and the wider insurance community to come together, network and do business. Make the most of your two days by using the app to plan who to meet and what sessions to attend.

2. Book conference sessions in advance because there are a wide range business leaders, industry experts and famous faces to learn from and seats may get snapped up.

3. Attend the conference as a team. There is something for everyone, including those with experience as well as younger or newer brokers. 

4. Get networking. Brokers should take advantage of the collection of markets and thousands of insurance professionals under one roof to get more business done. Arranging meetings with the same variety of professionals could typically take months, but conference attendance can speed this process up as peers are all in the same place.

5. Check out new features. At the Biba Conference 2024, for example, there will be the Cyber Hub. This offers a technology experience showcasing the latest in cyber technology, expert insights, case studies and an interactive ‘beat the hacker’ game.

Attendee advice

Delegates that often frequent the conference also have pearls of wisdom when it comes getting as much as possible out of the two-day event.

Carpenters Group director and Fraud Charter co-chair Donna Scully told Insurance Times: ”Don’t be shy. If you want to go and say hi to someone, it’s Biba – go and do it, don’t be scared.”

Catherine Carey, head of marketing at Consumer Intelligence, advised attendees to ”top up your business cards”. She continued: ”Ensure you have a good stack of business cards updated and ready to hand out. They’re your quick introduction and a staple for making new contacts.”

Both agreed that the event’s breakout sessions are useful.

Carey said: “These are perfect for relaxed networking and often where the best connections are made. Don’t just stick to one – hop around if there are several happening.”

Scully added: “Breakout sessions offer something for everyone. Make sure you look at what’s happening before you arrive [and] get organised in advance.”

With the social side of the conference as popular as the working day activities, Carey and Scully recommended eating well too. Carey noted that “with prosecco and beers flowing early, having a lined stomach will help you keep the energy up for the long haul into night time festivities”.

Scully added: “Always ensure that there is plenty of coffee available from 9am on day two.”