by Lisa Grimali | November 01, 2005

ICPA president Michael Burke

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 “overwhelmingly positive.”
    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.