Andy Homer says we have to work towards more networked conferences

Judging by trade press coverage there appears to be a never-ending merry-go-round of insurance intercourse afoot.

If it's not a round table (Stuart Reid - This is Your Life) it is a "must attend" awards ceremony, or a "crucial" conference of the usual talking heads (OK - I do a few : mea culpa). So why do we behave in this way?

Many reasons. If you are not learning, you are standing still; if you are standing still you are going backwards; if you are going backwards you are dead, but not buried.

We need to learn, debate, network and socialise. Conferring is about renewal of knowledge, spirit and belief. I have an ambition to see a really joined-up profession of insurers, brokers, adjusters, risk managers and consumers coming together to produce the sort of networked conference that no one in our business will want to miss. It won't happen just yet, but with some effort it is not out of reach.

Meanwhile, the CII has done its best to produce a conference agenda that excites its members. On 18-19 September we have assembled a truly outstanding cast of professionals to help with the renewal of knowledge. The CII is able to attract the best of the best because we are a members' organisation, free of trade, political or shareholder bias.

Please do yourself a professional service: be there in September. And if you come along, please stand up, grab the microphone and ask the speakers whatever takes your fancy.

I am also delighted that this year Cila has helped us to design the conference agenda. With Bob Beckett due to be installed as deputy president (to Rick Hudson), I live in hope that the voice of the independent insurance broker will join with that of the IFA via the Society of Financial Advisers' contribution to the CII to produce ever richer and more varied conferences.

The world is a huge melting pot as those of you who book for the conference dinner at the Guildhall on 18 September will discover. Yeah baby - it will be groovy too.

Andy Homer is CII president