With regulation still high on the agenda, should you find time to attend conferences? We quiz a random selection of brokers

Yes"It's a tremendous networking opportunity. It gives you a chance to catch up with people you don't see all the time."Paul Meehan, managing directorSmart & Cook"I'm looking forward to it. I want to see where people are in terms of compliance and IT. I also want to see who the new players are. We are fiercely independent, but its good to see what The Broker Network and Oval are doing. But more importantly, it's important for networking and catching up with people."David Raw, corporate manager Gale and Phillipson"It's always a good opportunity to network with brokers and insurers, to talk through business issues and get different viewpoints. Last year was excellent, and this year there looks to be some good speakers. David Bodanis [the opening speaker] will be entertaining."Mark Zandler, director of corporate operationsCOBRA Truman Lincoln"The quality of the speeches is getting better. The event is getting bigger and bigger. Definitely an opportunity for networking. It is vital to go because everyone is there. There is more involvement from insurers, which is a good development. It helps to break the divide between brokers and insurers."Andrew Holmes, director Bartlett & Co"It's an opportunity for the major independent brokers to meet their peers and exchange views. It's also an opportunity to meet all our suppliers in one place. Biba does a good job - you usually come away with some information that you can use in your business."Stuart Rootham, commercial director RK Harrison"I am going to the Biba conference principally for networking with brokers and insurers alike. It is useful for the latest product and marketing ideas. I also feel that there is always something that comes out of the meetings that gives you food for thought."Ashley Rogoff, managing director Ashley Page Insurance Brokers"I go to meet other brokers and insurers. I don't go to many of the sessions, except for maybe the keynote speeches. Biba is the best conference for getting a reasonable volume of quality brokers and a reasonable volume of quality insurers together."Chris Giles, chief executive Giles Insurance"It's a good conference. There's a lot of serious content and a lot to be learned. It also offers a tremendous advantage to meet other brokers in a social setting."Ron Brewis, director Bishop Skinner"We go to the Biba conference for purely commercial reasons. We have around 350 brokers around the country for whom we either place their own PI [professional indemnity] cover or we place their PI business into the London market. It's a great opportunity to see them without having to travel the length and breadth of the country."Kelvin Curran, partner FirstCity"I hope to find the effect that future regulation will have on us."Kevin Hancock, branch manager Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers"I've never been but out of all the years to go I think this is it, as it is one that will herald the biggest change we will experience in the industry."Eric Osman, compliance officer Concorde Insurance Brokers"With our growth plans I think it's important that we go so that we keep abreast with who is doing what."Stuart Randall, managing director Brett & Randall Insurance Brokers

No"It's a time thing really. While the market gossip is nice, it's not really our target audience and we can't make it stand up commercially."Paul Deakin, managing director Contractsure"Too many things going on at the moment - regulation and other business developments. There is value for other people, but not for us at the moment."Mark Coffer, managing directorMarrs Insurance "I'm not a member of Biba and it's too expensive. It's ok if you are a large broker, but it doesn't serve the small independent broker."Richard Mikula Topaz"We are finalising our FSA application. It is taking us forever to get it in. We usually go, but we are busy at the moment. We have more important things to do." Malcolm Cook, managing director C&C "Both directors are on holiday at the time."Adam & Gaskell Lancashire-based broker