A whole new world - the 2020 IRMSA Conference 30 Sept to 1 Oct 2020 and Master Class 2 Oct 2020

15 September 2020 The Institute of Risk Management South Africa

We are almost two weeks away from the Annual IRMSA Conference and the excitement is building up! This will be an event that none of us have experienced yet this year.

I will be honest, it has taken quite a mind shift to imagine and present you with an unforgettable first ever IRMSA virtual conference. Each year, the IRMSA Conference is my personal highlight as I enjoy the exceptional speakers, watching people’s faces as they listen and learn, and of course, the chats and discussions we have at the coffee stations and in the exhibition area – I always love the full, interpersonal, human experience.

At the beginning of lockdown, when we contemplated a year without our normal conference – thanks to COVID-19 - I felt concerned that we could not present you with an event that you have become accustomed to, an event that is absolutely important to our members because it is the largest learning experience of the year, and of course, a crucial aspect for the institute as one of the key revenue drivers of IRMSA. I have been having many concerns, challenges and down-right worries about the inability to host a conference as we know it opposed to the negative impact a digital conference may have on our membership and needless to say, attendance end revenue.

This did not last long – soonest the creative and innovative IRMSA team started putting minds together and constructing the digital conference, I very quickly realised that, although we had never done this before, that sensation I get when excellence is born, reassured me that the IRMSA team is innovating and building something really excellent and different.

For over six months, we have all become masters of the digital space with all meetings hosted on various digital platforms and attending online events. It has most certainly become our new normal – although I will admit that I still have to regularly be told to unmute in meetings every day. All of us have become aware of ‘Zoom fatigue’ and how the online experience can be tiring and for some, less engaging. This was a key factor the IRMSA Team considered when building the conference – how do we make this feel different, enjoyable and still enable the learning that is key to this event each year?

The team, together with digital and gaming experts, a first for us by the way, have created an event that will be completely different from any of the online events we have attended this year! It continuously brings a smile to everybody’s faces when asking our members if they are ready to become an IRMSA gamer?

So the experience of the conference is going to be unique and refreshing:

• a breath of fresh air from our usual but a very important engaging content
• excellent speakers and strong programme
• a really exciting platform for the event
• a strong and impactful programme in line with previous years
• applying digital interfaces to connect with industry experts allowing for more scope and rich opportunities to be included in the programme.

As in the past, we learnt from our recipes of success and again present you with plenaries and thought leadership streams. However, the way it has been crafted, each stream is like a mini-conference or standalone event, and having access to these streams and the way one can select and access them, one can register for them in so many different ways! In selecting the sessions that I personally identified for myself, I felt a slight panic as some of the streams I fancied, will be hosted by another stream and at the same time … So it brings me great relief knowing that sessions will be repeated and recorded allowing me to, still after the conference, watch any session that I may have missed. You may even watch those sessions later on in the day as all sessions are recorded and will be available to all attendees on the IRMSA Conference Channel for two weeks after the event.

A channel exclusive to IRMSA Conference delegates!

With over 60 industry experts sharing their knowledge, experiences and success stories, and our conference facilitator, Jeremy Maggs, well known for asking the hard questions and delving into issues, we will have the conversations that are crucial right now.

The path that we find ourselves on today and the uncertainty of our landscape, however overwhelming and intimidating, should be identified, explored and deconstructed through engaging the conference experts from which you will learn a tremendous amount. We will be able to tackle the rest of 2020 with the energy and confidence that is expected from professionals, particularly in this time and into the future!

Another element that many of our delegates are worried about missing out on is the engagement with our exhibitors and stakeholders. The fantastic thing about the platform, and with you becoming the ‘IRMSA gamer’, you will still be able to have those well needed chats and get all the information you need from the various suppliers and industry leaders. You will be able to navigate your way through the virtual IRMSA Conference Exhibition and you may even find yourself at the IRMSA booth registering for your board exam for 2021 or updating your CPD points, or just saying hello to your favourite IRMSA team members.

Together with our main partner for the conference, Marsh, we look forward to seeing you at the IRMSA Conference, where we will learn so many new things, in a new way and have an experience that will empower us for the uncertain path ahead. Our re-energised ‘2020 VISION’ will keep us ahead of the game with the strength and knowledge to overcome the obstacles and challenges that have been placed in our way.

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Implementing tech-backed distribution platforms
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