Meetings Update: RIMS Cancels 2020 Annual Conference; IICF Postpones Events

March 14, 2020

For the first time in the Risk and Insurance Management Society’s 70-year history, it is not going to have its annual conference. The RIMS 2020 Annual Conference & Exhibition scheduled for May 6 in Denver has been canceled.

“We can’t express enough how grateful we are for your patience as we explored every viable option,” RIMS CEO Mary Roth and President Laura Langone said in an announcement to members and registrants.

“As we moved through our own risk management process, assessed the facts, analyzed the data and carefully calculated the outcomes of a range of scenarios, it became abundantly clear that this was the best decision for our members, our conference participants, and our employees. At the end of the day, your health and safety remained our number one priority.

RIMS said it is will be addressing the hundreds of agreements, policies and commitments, as well as the concerns of thousands of attendees. Connections Housing will administer cancellations for reservations within the RIMS hotel block and the group is working up a refund process.

The conference is one of the industry’s largest every year, with as more than 10,000 attendees from 70 countries.

RIMS has created an FAQ to answer questions.

The decision came following the continued spread of the coronavirus, Colorado’s ban on gatherings of more than 250 people and the closing of the venue for the RIMS meeting, the Colorado Convention Center, until April 12.

RIMS leaders met over the weekend with key stakeholders, government agencies, event partners, and its insurance broker Aon to develop a plan.

“At RIMS, we routinely educate our members about such risks, delivering best practices and thought-leading strategies,” said the weekend message signed by Roth and Langone. “Now, it is us applying those best practices and it has been a truly humbling experience.”

RIMS has plenty of company among organizations and event planners trying to decide what to do.

IICF

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation has postponed IICF events planned through the end of April. The organization is reviewing options to reschedule wherever possible. Among the events postponed are IICF National, Horizon Award Gala, Los Angeles, March 19; IICF Midwest, Spring Fling, Kansas City, April 30; and IICF Philadelphia Chapter, Trivia Night, April 22.

Berkshire Meeting

On Friday, Warren Buffett, CEO, said there will be a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting as usual on May 2 but it will be unusual in that it will not be attended by thousands of shareholders, employees and media representatives as in the past. All special events held that weekend including a road race and a giant cocktail party have also been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus.

“I very much regret this action; for many decades the annual meeting has been a high point of the year for me and my partner, Charlie Munger. It is now clear, however, that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community. We won’t ask this of our employees and we won’t expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a ‘hot spot’ in the current pandemic,” Buffett said in a press release.

The gathering, which Buffett likes to call “Woodstock for Capitalists,” has attracted as many as 30,000 to 40,000 people in the past.

Th\is year’s attendance will be limited to Buffett, possibly Munger, and several Berkshire employees who will deliver proxy votes. Perhaps, also, a journalist or two, Buffett said.

Shareholders and others will have to settle for watching the meeting as it is live-streamed by Yahoo.

Other Meetings

The roster of insurance-related conferences and meetings being canceled, postponed or moved to virtual due to the coronavirus threat keeps changing. Here is an updated list:

March

Property Liability Research Bureau (PLRB) called off its 2020 Claims Conference scheduled to start Sunday, March 8 at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C

Insurance data analytics and risk modeling firm Verisk converted its Cyber and Casualty Seminar scheduled for March 10 in New York City from an in-person to a free virtual event.

The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) announced the organization canceled its 2020 International Conference scheduled for Mar. 8-10, at the Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, California because of safety concerns due to COVID-19.

The Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) has canceled the following events:

  • March 11-12 Legislative Fly-In (Washington D.C.)
  • March 15-18 Insurtech Conference (New Orleans)
  • March 27-28 Extreme Risk Takers Symposium (Chicago)

The Consumer Federation of America has decided to reschedule the National Food Policy Conference to a later date in 2020. The conference was scheduled to occur March 11 and 12.

Georgia State University Risk Management Foundation has canceled the 6th Annual Riskies Awards scheduled for the evening of March 12, 2020.

Benefits management platform Benefitfocus said it will now hold its annual conference, One Place 2020, scheduled for March 17-19 in Charleston, S.C., as a digital event.

The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) has decided to postpone NCRMA2020, its conference on March 22-24 in Las Vegas. The event will now be held in the fall.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has decided to hold the Spring National Meeting scheduled as a live event for Phoenix from March 21-24 in a virtual-only format. Below is a tentative schedule, which is still subject to change:

  • The public portion of the NAIC’s special session on state responses to COVID-19 will be held on March 20, 2020, starting at 11 a.m. ET via virtual meeting.
  • Working groups, subgroups and other meetings will be held via conference calls March 16-31, 2020.
  • Task force meetings will be held via conference calls April 1-10, 2020.
  • Executive Committee and letter committees will be held via conference calls the week of April 13, 2020.
  • EX/Plenary will meet via public conference call on April 20, 2020.

The Casualty Actuarial Society has canceled its 2020 Ratemaking, Product and Modeling (RPM) Seminar Planning Committee in New Orleans that was to start March 22. See the FAQ for information.

The Ceres 2020 Investor Summit on Climate Risk scheduled for March 23-26 in New York has been canceled. The group said it is arranging to offer a digital program in the weeks and months to come.

April

WSIA has canceled its April 3 Extreme Risk Takers Symposium in Santa Barbara.

The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has postponed its European Risk Management Awards 2020 dinner that it planned to host in London on April 23. The new date is December 8, 2020.

WSIA also said it is still evaluating two education programs, including an April 28 – May 1 Executive Leadership Summit (ELS) in Washington D.C. and a June 7-10 Excess & Surplus Lines program in St. Louis.

May

The Financial Health Network canceled its Emerge conference, scheduled for May 5-7, 2020 in Atlanta.

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