ICPA president Michael Burke
ICPA, An Association of Insurance and Financial
Services Conference Planners, is poised to get a new name Financial
& Insurance Conference Planners this month as part of a broader
effort to better serve and increase its membership.
A two-thirds majority is needed to change the name, according
to the Chicago-based organization’s bylaws. (Members had until Oct.
31 to mail in a vote on the proposal.) The name must then be
ratified by the board, which will meet prior to ICPA’s annual
meeting this month in New York City, Nov. 6-10.
According to ICPA president Michael Burke, senior specialist of
conference and travel services for Worcester, Mass.-based Allmerica
Financial Corp., response to the proposed name has been
The association, which initially was launched as the Insurance
Conference Planners Association, voted in 2002 to encourage
planners from the financial sector to join in light of a change in
federal regulations that allowed insurance firms to offer financial
services. But the group failed to lure a substantial number from
the increased pool of potential members.
“We needed to rebrand and market to attract financial services
planners,” said Burke, who admitted the association’s first name
change was not enough to do the job. “It did not show enough
commitment to that segment,” he noted.
In addition to the rebranding effort, ICPA has undertaken a
more concentrated focus on education. To that end, said Burke, the
association has launched a series of webcasts on topical issues;
plans call for two or three such forums per year.
Next month, a session on choosing the right professional
designation will be webcast to members. Additionally, the group’s
annual conference will have more educational breakout sessions than
in past years.
The group also aims to improve its sponsorship policy. “We want
to revamp it to make sure it is fair and equitable and helps us
attract new sponsors,” Burke said.