Trade associations are preparing for business as usual as the spring conference season approaches for financial services.
Fears of coronavirus becoming a global pandemic is causing the cancellation of many conferences as companies seek to avoid concentrating large numbers of people in confined spaces.
Google, Microsoft and Facebook are just some companies who have cancelled major events slated for the coming weeks.
Folks in the financial services community are taking a wait-and-see approach. iPipeline's Connections 2020 conference March 15-17 in Las Vegas is still on, according to Lisa Shea, iPipeline’s senior event and marketing manager.
Likewise, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners will hold its spring meeting as planned March 21-24 in Phoenix.
"We believe the immediate risk of outbreak in the United States remains low and we plan to move forward with the meeting," said Laura Kane, NAIC communications director. "However, we are aware the situation could change over the next few weeks. We are updating the information on our website and will notify those who are registered should we decide to make significant changes or cancel the meeting."
The NAIC set up a Coronavirus Resource Center Monday with links to the latest news, risks and impact on insurance and business operations. The association has taken an active role in past pandemics, noted NAIC CEO Michael Consedine, and even formed a subgroup of the Disaster Reporting (E) Working Group on pandemics in the early 2000s.
LIMRA's next big event is a double conference in Salt Lake City April 20-24. The week starts with the Life Insurance Conference, and rolls right into the Retirement Industry Conference, a pairing the association has scheduled for years.
As it stands, all LIMRA and LOMA events are planned as scheduled, said Catherine Theroux, assistant vice president and director of public relations.
"We are monitoring the Coronavirus situation and working with our vendors to ensure all precautions are being made to safeguard the health of our attendees, speakers and employees," she said via email.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has no imminent conferences, but will host its annual Congressional Conference in late May in Washington, D.C., and Performance + Purpose annual conference in Boston in early October.
Like other trade associations, NAIFA is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation, said CEO Kevin Mayeux.
"NAIFA’s top concern is for the health of our members, employees, and the American public, so if conditions dictate as we get closer to the events, we will follow the guidance of public health officials and take whatever actions are necessary," he said.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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