“Nearly every employee, in any role, in every firm in our industry is impacted every day by automation disruptions and technology,” says Shannon Dahlke Applegate, the InsurTech Committee Chair for the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) and senior vice president of MHI, a division of Worldwide Facilities, LLC. (Shutterstock)

The 2021 WSIA Insurtech Conference is scheduled for March 28-31 in New Orleans.

The event, which focuses exclusively on technology and how it impacts and influences the wholesale, specialty and surplus lines industry, is not just for technology specialists.

“We often think of technology as a specialist’s role in a firm, but nearly every employee, in any role, in every firm in our industry is impacted every day by automation disruptions and technology,” says Shannon Dahlke Applegate, the Insurtech Committee Chair for the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) and senior vice president of MHI, a division of Worldwide Facilities, LLC.

Applegate adds that everyone in the insurance industry needs to be up-to-speed on disruptions and aware of options for managing them and leveraging them to a firm’s advantage.

“The days of relying only on our technology teams to be aware of these opportunities is over because it’s so much a part of everything we do,” she says. “We have worked very hard to evolve the Insurtech Conference, just as the technology environment is evolving, to make sure that it delivers content for professionals at all levels. Anyone who uses technology is involved in process automation, and the development of technology solutions or manages teams of technology professionals should be there. That includes executives leading their firms into the future.”

The WSIA’s 2021 Insurtech Conference will feature Deb Smallwood of Strategy Meets Action as the keynote speaker on the theme of Digital Transformation. In addition, the 2021 conference is designed to delve deeper into an array of technology transformation topics appropriate for attendees in almost any role within their firms. Those include:

  • Traditional vs. transformational technologies
  • Future of Lloyd’s Digital Ecosystem
  • Data science and scientists
  • Digital platform architectures
  • Digital MGAs vs. traditional MGAs

“The tentative 2021 schedule is being developed to offer high-level overview sessions that are appropriate for anyone in the industry, particularly firm leadership to gain general understanding,” says Jacque Schaendorf, president and CEO of Insurance House and a WSIA Insurtech Committee volunteer. “Those sessions will focus on the broad impact on the overall industry. We will also offer ‘deep dives’ that will dig into those same topics in more detailed ways that might be better-suited for technology specialists.”

Schaendorf is also a WSIA legacy organization past president.

Executive roundtables targeted to both firm executives and technology specialists, and exhibitor tours and ‘fast pitches’ are also new to the 2021 schedule.

Schaendorf says the exhibitor presence will be enhanced in 2021, which provides a platform for those participants to talk about their products and services and enhances the ability for attendees to interact with them to learn about potential technology solutions for their firms.

“We were not able to host the event in 2020 due to COVID-19, but we are working very diligently to make sure that the 2021 event can meet the needs of both exhibitors and WSIA member firms,” Applegate adds. “We believe the committee has pulled together a great game plan that will attract top InsurTechs for the trade show and a strong cross-section of members and professionals to learn from them and our presenters.”

Registration for the event will open in late-2020.

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