The 2013 ACORD LOMA Forum may look prim and polished, but coordinators have put a great deal of prep work into this year’s presentations. Topics have been carefully chosen based on prior years’ feedback; speakers have been vetted by a diverse committee of insurance professionals; and the presentations themselves have been refined to give attendees exactly what they’re looking for. Here’s a behind the scenes look at the process behind each of the 2013 sessions.

Responding to Feedback

It all starts with feedback from previous Forums. “We start by combing through evaluations we’ve received from years’ past attendees,” says Malou August, ACORD Senior Project Manager. “We listen to that, we give them what they want, and we take away or rethink the topics they weren’t so interested in.” Given the constant innovations in today’s insurance market—new technologies, new business practices and new regulations – the most important topics are always changing.

Each session idea also has to pass through a carefully-chosen committee of insurance professionals. This advisory group contains stakeholders from every sector of the industry: tech vendors, carriers, reinsurers, managing general agents, analysts and more. “We meet with this group to come up with the program vision, discuss challenges from the past, and ultimately decide upon the major topics we can then ask for in our session proposals,” says August.

This year’s proposed topics included analytics, future technologies, next-generation customer service, regulatory compliance, cloud computing, legacy modernization and straight-through processing – but not every idea made the cut. “We cull it all the way down to where we can have a nice balance of discussions that cover major track areas that we can offer to our attendees,” says August. “We want to offer things they’re interested in throughout the conference, not just one hour of the conference.”

Putting it All Together

Once the coordinators and advisory committee agree on topics, they select their speakers and perfect their presentations. “We work with speakers to refine their presentations to make sure they have the resources needed for a great show,” says August. “We slice and dice to suit and provide value to the industry.” This refinement includes big-picture items such as presentation material and co-presenters, as well as details like slide shows, presentation hardware and room sizes. A decade of Forum experience and feedback helps the coordinators meld the logistics of each session with the needs and goals of attendees.

“We also work with session speakers to refine their abstracts, so we understand what level of information they’re giving – beginner, intermediate, or expert,” August notes. The Forum’s schedule categorizes each session as “All,” “Beginner,” “Intermediate” or “Expert,” advising attendees on the level of material they can expect.

Finally, sessions are chronologically arranged to offer as much relevant content as possible to potential participants. Simultaneous Forum presentations cover several lines of insurance, and most attendees want to stick to their areas of interest and expertise. “We won’t put life against life, for instance,” August comments. Coordinators also work with qualified sponsors and concierge services to make sure the right programs are placed on the agendas of busy travelers.

Wednesday Highlights

Telematics: An Overview and Industry Trends: Bob Hirsch, Andrew Goldberg and Mark Hill of Deloitte Consulting will offer new insights on the trends, technologies and current applications in the telematics ecosystem. Attendees can also learn how they can implement adaptable telematics platforms into their own firms.

Cloud Computing Standards for the Insurance World: Cloud computing is here to stay – has your firm bought in? Richard Soley of Object Management Group will advise attendees on the logistics, risks and regulatory requirements of cloud services in the insurance industry.

Our Regulatory Environment – Are Broad Changes on the Horizon? Rapid innovations require rapid regulatory changes, and data and systems management has become a primer focus for political scrutiny. Top insurance attorneys Richard Fidei and Fred Karlinsky will explain how US legislation and global standards may impact the insurance industry in the near future.