Insurance Journal Ad & Marketing

Summer Vacation Is Over, So Let’s Talk Camp

By | September 24, 2013

IJAM welcomes guest blogger Peter van Aartrijk, CEO of Aartrijk branding firm.

At this time of year, maybe you recall the fun you had at those summer camps. Okay, the mosquitoes in the tent and the Hamburger Helper in the mess hall were downers. But did you know we’re just a month away from the insurance industry’s very own Brand Camp?

Is this a shameless plug? In the “English-English” style of Austin Powers: “Mmmaybe.”

Yes, we get it: Insurance folks already meet too much. You meet in the home office and the regional office. You go on prospect visits and client visits. You drive to your oft-dreaded CE updates. You attend annual conventions. You meet with the staff. Whatever your title is, you meet with others with similar titles. You do drop-by meetings, breakfast meetings, brown-bag lunch meetings, luncheons and seminars.

And worst of all, you sleepily gaze from across the conference room at boring PowerPoints, trying to make sense of the tiny little bullets in Arial font. Argh!

Given all that, it’s perfectly natural to ask: Why on earth would I want to plan for yet another meeting?

Here are five good reasons, for starters:

1. This one’s different. It’s the “anti-meeting.” Here is the working agenda, but as veteran campers will tell you, we always go down some divergent and interesting paths. Just like hiking—although this time it’s a hike with your mind.

2. Forget the “convince your boss” schmooze job. This is about YOU, not so much your boss. And YOU deserve a little “ME” time. Brand Camp provides food for your brain. (Maybe your boss needs to attend as well.)

3. Hampton Inns serve a key role in our society. But it’s time for some real digs for a meeting. Brand Camp never disappoints—we’ve had sweet locations in Chicago, Austin and Boulder. Baltimore’s Hotel Monaco will rock.

4. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do. Unless you’d like to switch careers and paint beach scenes for a living—which sounds kind of cool, by the way—you need a plan for you, your job and your future. Brand Camp can help.

5. Don’t take any more chances—go to a meeting with guaranteed cool insurance people in attendance. There, I did it…I said “cool” and “insurance” in the same sentence.

Campers unite! Join us in Baltimore!

Questions? Fire away:

About Peter van Aartrijk

A former corporate communications executive and journalist, Peter van Aartrijk has worked with independent agents, brokers and carriers for decades on marketing-communications challenges. He is CEO of insurance marketing firm Aartrijk. He serves on the board of directors of the Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (, and he is the author of The Powers, a branding guidebook available at Amazon and Email: More from Peter van Aartrijk

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