To not only put on a five-day virtual event as an alternative to the traditional Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous – cancelled this year due to Covid-19 – but to do so in a way that addressed the practical needs for delegates, was an ambitious goal.
We were fortunate that Lloyd’s was thinking along the same lines. And with the Corporation lined up as a fully engaged partner to (Re)Connect, together we invited the market to re-envisage how the market collaborates in the run-up to the most crucial renewal season in a generation.
And boy, did the market respond. The final numbers aren’t quite all in at the time of writing, but here’s a few early statistics for you: (Re)Connect has registered more than 2,600 delegates and facilitated more than 1,700 direct instant messages between them. More than 100 private one-to-one video-enabled meetings were hosted on the platform, and we recorded more than 300 responses during live polls.
We produced more than five hours of footage of fireside chats with executives from across the market, and hosted many more industry leaders through our 11 interactive webinars and four Chatham House executive roundtables.
We even brought a little of that Monte Carlo glamour to proceedings by launching our first interactive, live cocktail making class – run by our friends at Sipsmith Gin.
And of course, we hosted our virtual Insurance Insider Honours, celebrating the great and the good from our industry with our usual pizzazz, featuring an evening of entertainment, music and live comedy.
On behalf of myself and the rest of the Insurance Insider team, we wanted to say a huge thank you for being a part of (Re)Connect. It has been fantastic to engage with so many of you over the past week.
Thanks also to all our sponsors and partners. The support we have received from across the market has been incredible, and we couldn’t have produced this event without you.
And if you missed out on any of the content this week, all the fireside chats and webinars are available to watch On Demand for the next 60 days – just log onto the platform, hover over the “Agenda” tab and hit “On Demand”.
The networking open room is also open until 16:00 today, so please do keep scheduling your one-to-one meetings.
For now, it’s unclear what the future holds for physical conferences. But there seems to be a consensus that the Rendez-Vous will return in some form or another next year, pandemic pending.
For every naysayer who believes that this time, the market won’t want the optics associated with going to a billionaire’s playground once a year to do business, I’ve found at least five others who think if the Rendez-Vous didn’t disappear after 9/11, KRW or the 2008 financial crisis, the coronavirus is unlikely to see it off either.
At the heart of it, we’re a social market made up of sociable individuals. And for all the technological advancement of the past six months and the efficiencies gained through remote working, there’s a strong desire to get back to a business-as-usual setting.
Perhaps the best we can hope for is a sort of hybrid, where we can take the good outcomes and the lessons learned from the past half year and use them to make our physical interactions more meaningful, more efficient, more worthwhile.
Until then, I look forward to seeing many of you on Zoom, Webex, Teams or something else in the very near future.
To view issue 2 of our (Re)Connect supplement, please click here.