Below you will find descriptions for the broad range of topics available during the Concurrent Workshop Session Times

Thursday, Feb. 20 - 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Digital Marketing & Metrics

Presenter: Brandon Gray - Agency Revolution

Analyzing your company website and associated digital marketing strategy can provide real insight to inform future marketing plans. There are several ways you can verify the success of your website and marketing effort and determine its strengths and weaknesses. If it's not working, what levers should you pull to drive traffic that generates referrals and new leads for your agency? In this workshop we will discuss:

  • Which metrics are worth looking at
  • What content is working the best
  • How to optimize your marketing plan based on your findings

Technology After Nationwide

Presenter: Kevin Dorgan - Dorgan Consulting

As an Exclusive agent, most of your primary technology tools were provided and managed by Nationwide. As an independent, you own the technology.....and the risks. Security is a major concern and we'll review many factors to consider. In addition, the choice of an Agency Management System for your agency is the most critical technology investment you will make. Factors we'll discuss include:

- Cost - Training - Security - Staff adoption - Carrier downloads - Contract terms - Support (short and long term) - User groups - Email integration - Comparative rating integration - Accounting - eSignature - Text messaging - Mobile app - Commission management - Marketing and retention capabilities

Why and What to Cross-Market in Your Agency

Presenter: Dex Umekubo Workshop Sponsor: ProducersXL

During this workshop, Dex will highlight a variety of cross marketing opportunities that you'll find outside of the P & C world. You'll learn how an intentional approach to cross marketing:

  • Creates better customer experiences and increases “Sticky” business,
  • Re-affirms a trusted relationship between your agency and your customers, and
  • Most if not all will buy “other” insurance-related products that YOU should offer, including Life, Business Life, Estate Planning, Medicare Supplements, Health, Disability and Retirement Services.

Dex will also highlight what to look for in an Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) and why partnering with the right IMO can drive your non-P&C success.

Is an Aggregator Right for Your Agency?

Presenters: Tracy Henry and Rachel McClurg Workshop Sponsor: PIIB

The session will briefly address audiences’ needs presented when transitioning from exclusive to independent and then proceed to extensively cover the many different models of aggregators/networks and how each provides support differently to tackle those needs. The intention of the session is to educate the audience on pros/cons of an aggregator so that the agents can make a decision on whether an aggregator is the best choice for their independent agency. Three specific bells and whistles to consider in an Aggregator include: Agency Management System support, E & O Insurance Coverage, and Product and Producer Training.

Producer Talent Search and Development

Presenter: Brent Davis Workshop Sponsor: Leavitt Group

Producers are the lifeblood of our industry. In this session, you’ll get insider information on how to effectively find, select, and onboard high performing sales talent into your agency, and how a successful commercial producer can drive organic growth through building their own book. You learn the step by step method for finding and hiring the right person, as well as developing them into ideal producers for your agency. From cultural fit, to compensation structure, and 12-month onboarding plans, you’ll understand the technique that has helped make Leavitt Group one of the largest privately-held brokerages in the country.

Thursday, Feb. 20 - 2:45 - 3:45 pm

How the Right Agency Management System Can Set You Up for Success

Presenters: Paul Moyes and Mathew Brauer Workshop Sponsor: HawkSoft

Not all systems are created equal. The wrong one will make your staff want to stay home. The right one brings sanity to your agency operations. Come learn why management systems are the lifeblood of an independent agency. Learn which questions to ask when shopping for a system, which workflows matter the most, and what pitfalls to avoid. This impartial class presented by Paul Moyes (VP of Sales) and Mathew Brauer (Director of Strategic Accounts) from HawkSoft will arm you with everything you need to know when shopping for your first or your fourth Agency Management System.

Building a Dynamic Multi-Carrier Commercial Lines Practice

Presenter: Greg Suman and Melanie Johnson Workshop Sponsor: Leavitt Group

Set your commercial lines practice up for success with step-by-step strategies for growth. You’ll get insight into the carrier appointment process and contract nuances along with how to build your practice year after year. You’ll learn about specific tactics to develop a strong sales culture, including selecting a niche, how to apply consultative selling techniques, and understanding the tricks to maximize your effectiveness during prospecting and throughout the commercial customer lifecycle.

The Digital Singularity: Cross-Platform Content Marketing for the Modern Era

Presenter: Kristofer Lewis Workshop Sponsor: ProducersXL

In this workshop we will examine the practices and ideologies driving the evolution of digital marketing, including:

  • Cross-Platform Integration and Maintaining a Healthy Marketing Funnel
  • Social Media as Lead Generation Software
  • Converting Content into Leads
  • Developing Your Website
  • The Email Drip: A Solid Financial Policy
  • The Importance of Analytics

Pitfalls to Avoid on the Road to Independence

Presenter: Gordy Bunch Workshop Sponsor: TWFG

Over the past 20 years, Gordy Bunch has successfully transitioned hundreds of captive agents to successful Independence. During this conversational session, you will benefit this experience and leave with the knowledge and tools to avoid the potential pitfalls on your road to independence.

How Hippo & Insurtech Can Help Grow Your Agency

Presenter: Sham Sogal - Hippo Insurance

Learn about Insurtech and how our industry is being disrupted and evolved by providers like Hippo. What is Insurtech? What has changed? Why does homeowners need modernization? What do I need to know about automated underwriting and loT? How can a Hippo Help?

The Hippo difference:

  • The Agent Experience (quote, bind, support)
  • Insurtech Understood (what, why, how)
  • Automated Underwriting (Ariel Images, loT, Proactivity)
  • Everything for the Customer (Claims concierge, NPS score, Amazon)

Thursday, Feb. 20 - 4:00 - 5:00 pm

7 Areas of Focus when Starting, Growing or Selling an Insurance Agency

Presenter: Stuart Ganis Workshop Sponsor: Insurance Technologies Corp

Agency Owners can’t keep track of the moving parts when starting, growing or selling an insurance agency. Agencies in excess of $2 million in revenue have access to the best consultants in the industry but smaller independent agents don’t. We’re left to our own devices and depend on peers and other business owners for advice. This course guides you through several areas of focus as you venture into the independent agency space. In this course you’ll learn about:

  • Why Corporate Structure Matters
  • Metrics to track and how
  • How you can maximize CSR’s and Producers in your agency
  • Choosing the best Technology for your agency
  • Carrier Relationships and new appointments
  • Digital and Traditional Marketing
  • Building a World Class Culture by hiring the best people

Scaling Personal Lines Growth: Grow 3X in 3 Years

Presenters: Nathan Dagley, Paul Marsh, and Jamey Smith Workshop Sponsor: Real Results

Get an inside look into one the of the largest Nationwide Insurances agencies as Nathan Dagley and his executive team discuss their unique sales process and how you can replicate it in your own agency. If you are looking to grow and scale your agency, you do not want to miss this break out session.

This behind-the-curtain session will show you how you get 3X more new business from your current personal lines producers, how you can sustain growth for years to come and the new business opportunities they utilize that keep the sales engine running!

Come and Grow 3X in the next 3 Years! Q&A to follow session.

Your New Horizon – What You Need to know in Transitioning to Independent Agency

Presenter: Steve Woodworth Workshop Sponsor: Affordable American Insurance

This workshop will provide agents with the right questions to ask when maneuvering through the process of evaluating the benefits of each aggregators, clusters, and membership groups they are considering. My presentation will share my experiences in working with groups and helping agents through the challenges of transitioning from exclusive / captive agency platforms to independent agency ownership.

Rebranding and Retooling as an Independent Agent

Presenter: Kevin Dorgan - Dorgan Consulting

For most agents, the Nationwide brand has been their primary identity. Everything from business cards, to office signs, to Google presence. As an independent agent, you'll need to make choices around what you will look like. During this session, we'll discuss various brand elements including:

  • Agency logo
  • Agency domain
  • Agency website
  • Agency email address
  • Google owners, branding and ranking
  • Social media branding

The Value of Acquisition in Growing an Independent Agency, and How to Finance One

Presenter: Peter Friedman - AGILECAP

As you transition to independent agency ownership, you’ve got to decide whether to start your business from scratch and grow organically or purchase an existing agency. Acquisitions are a great way to kick start your business, from both a strategic and economic perspective. You’re essentially able to purchase the skills and expertise of an established business, allowing you to shortcut the time it takes to build an agency from the ground up. Acquisitions also reduce your overall costs and improve your cashflow and margins more quickly. You’ll need to know what to look for when acquiring a new agency, though, to ensure it’s a good fit for you and the business is a wise purchase. And you need to understand the lending landscape and what funding is available to you as a new independent agency owner.

We’ll walk you through what to look for when doing due diligence on any acquisition, where to look for financing, what to expect during the financing process, and how to set yourself up for funding success. We’ll also review the tax implications related to going independent right now, and how to gain peace of mind by proactively dealing with the tax liabilities associated with moving to independent agency ownership in 2020.

Friday, Feb. 21 - 10:00 - 11:00 am

Financing Your Agency Transition & Funding Future Growth

Presenters: Matt Sprang, Mike Wagar, Eric Dougherty Workshop Sponsor: Westfield Bank

Your business is changing and Westfield Bank’s Agency Banking President Matt Sprang, Agency Banking Market Leader Mike Wagar, and Vice President Premium Finance Manager Eric Dougherty are available to help with your financing needs.

These insurance agency financing experts will guide you through the process, including how to obtain financing and working capital to ensure a successful transition to independence. You’ll also learn about other ways to manage your business including deposit accounts and cash management tools as well as premium financing solutions that offer your clients payment options.

5 DO’s and DON’Ts When You Go Independent

Presenters: Nathan Dagley, Paul Marsh, and Jamey Smith Workshop Sponsor: Real Results

Do you want to position your agency for the greatest success once you go independent? Then you do not want to miss this breakout session! Nathan Dagley and his executive team share their mistakes, pitfalls and successes over the past three years since going independent from Nationwide Insurance.

In this session, you will learn about carrier contracts, appointments, book rolls, staffing, technology, new business strategies, retention and more. The presenters will focus on five actions you can take in the next couple of months to position your agency on the track to expanding and growing for the next decade and five actions to avoid that could leave your agency in turmoil and spinning its wheels while losing revenue.

Get a head start on your agency’s growth for 2020. Q&A to follow session.

Key Steps to a Successful Transition to Independence

Presenter: Gordy Bunch Workshop Sponsor: TWFG

Over the past 20 years, Gordy Bunch has successfully transitioned hundreds of captive agents to successful Independence. During this conversational session, you will hear and discuss time-proven steps, habits and processes that have been proven to be instrumental on the path to independence. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from someone who has been through it all.

Friday, Feb. 21 - 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Technology After Nationwide (repeat session)

Presenter: Kevin Dorgan - Dorgan Consulting

As an Exclusive agent, most of your primary technology tools were provided and managed by Nationwide. As an independent, you own the technology.....and the risks. Security is a major concern and we'll review many factors to consider. In addition, the choice of an Agency Management System for your agency is the most critical technology investment you will make. Factors we'll discuss include:

- Cost - Training - Security - Staff adoption - Carrier downloads - Contract terms - Support (short and long term) - User groups - Email integration - Comparative rating integration - Accounting - eSignature - Text messaging - Mobile app - Commission management - Marketing and retention capabilities

PIA & You: Membership Overview and Benefits

Presenter: Mike Becker - National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National)

Discover how the Professional Insurance Agents Association (PIA) can help you on your journey from captive to independent agent. This session will highlight PIA’s most recent congressional victories for independent agents, and top PIA member benefits, such as PIA Market Access, Hartford Flood, Cyber 101, PIA Branding Program, Agency Journey Mapping, AVYST eForms Wizard, and more. NIICA has provided its 2019 members, and Roadmap to Independence agent attendees, with a membership to PIA. Attend this session and learn about all of the resources now available to you!

Virtual Assistants and What You Need to Know

Presenter: Andy Priesman, Workshop Sponsor: Cover Desk

Cover Desk founder, Andy Priesman, is an insurance industry veteran with significant and extensive operational experience. He knows what it takes to make an independent insurance agency run well because he’s done it in his own business. Andy has blazed a trail of innovation in an industry not known for being on the cutting edge of technology or new processes.

With Cover Desk, he’s bringing his experience and innovation to agencies like his who need help competing against the big insurance brands.

Here at Cover Desk we have one priority: helping independent insurance agencies grow, thrive, and innovate in the 21st century. We do this by offering your insurance agency access to highly educated virtual assistants from the Philippines.

How do we do it? We used the Cover Desk method before there was a Cover Desk. As a result, we made our own independent insurance agencies more efficient and profitable while offering excellent customer support. Now we want to help other agencies do the same for their business.

Large brands have access to more resources than most independent insurance agencies. They can hire more staff, outsource more work, and keep growing. Your agency deserves the same chance but with the high-touch, personalized service your clients have come to expect. We’ve been there, too, and we know how hard it is to compete.