Amazed at the number of Insurance Conferences that occur in a year, The Lime Street Guide team happily shares this story on the many marketing materials, i.e., freebies, our dear Founder Barbara “Magpie” Schurer took home in her luggage last autumn.
We have covered three of these events. Starting in Monte Carlo where “The Lime Street Guide to Lloyd’s”, the first ever directory of Who is Who in Lloyd’s was introduced in 2009 and it has become an annual pilgrimage since. The Rendez-Vous de Septembre brings together the major players in the world of Re-Insurance and these gifts, of course, are a continuing reminder of the generosity of the company and a great advert. A lot of thought is usually devoted to coming up with an original and memorable present.
The 61st Rendez‐Vous de Septembre (RVS) in Monte Carlo (9th to 14th September 2017)
To show them all is virtually impossible, so we just picked a few. At Les Rendez‐Vous de Septembre, Munich RE rescued attendees from the heat by donating portable fans which could be powered by Smartphones. They also showcased their new slogan on the lanyard: “Not if, but how”.
RMS’ black notebook (above) is hard to see on the photo, but its red accents make it stylish. Aon Benﬁeld run a very appreciated meeting place on top of the Café de Paris, the perfect place to meet and to rest. My wonderful friend David Bogg runs it impeccably and is a place of great learning. Last year they handed out the Impact Forecasting notebook which uses a sunny yellow cover for impact. Impact Forecasting has been developed as an interactive catastrophe-modelling platform, called ELEMENTS II which allows the underwriter to develop probabilistic and scenario models. We have a constant reminder as even their socks given out which are emblazoned with impactforecasting.com.
Insurance is all about a promise to pay at some stage in the future. Our market is a relationship market which is the reason why people need to meet in order to keep up the relationship. Monte Carlo is used to get the temperature which way the Reinsurance Market is heading. The Rendez-Vous is all about meeting in a confined space to oil the relationships. Apart from a few briefings, there is no fixed programme, during the day the various hotels provide meeting places. In the evenings starting on Sunday there are cocktail parties which allow speed dating and one needs to be quite organised having received a stack of business cards whom one met where. MS Amlin usually has their reception on a boat very close to Sir Philip Greene’s superyacht Lionhart. As a condition of the insurance policy of the boat, the use of High heels is expressly forbidden and flip-flops were kindly provided and served as a nice memento. If one had a drink too many, it was pretty difficult to find one’s shoes again.
The Panama hat and sunglasses have been provided by Scor who run the very successful Scor Lounge next to the casino, one of the two hotspots of the Rendezvous, the other being the Swiss Re Lounge.
Barbara brought home a slew of promo materials from the Singapore International Reinsurance Conference (SIRC). The art of giving gifts to welcome guests is a cultural tradition in the Far East which we were more than happy to take part in.
Aside from the many tech-y international power adapters and USBs, we were also gifted traditional items, like an Asian-style wood bookmark and ﬁve red and blue triangular bean bags. We soon found out the latter is a favourite Malaysian pastime called Batu Seremban, a.k.a. Five Stones or Selambut. The game aspires to improve your eyesight, memory and concentration and precision. (Wow! What a game!)
The premise: Throw the ﬁrst stone/beanbag into the air. Using the same hand, grab the second stone from the ground then catch the ﬁrst stone before it hits the ground. Repeat this until all ﬁve stones are in your hand. Trust me, this is hard.
Editor’s Note: Not to be outdone by Munich RE’s earlier gift of iPhone fans in Monte Carlo, Swiss Re put another line of portable fans in our gift bags in Singapore.
The photo below shows a selection of gifts from Barbican, Ed, XL Catlin and Markel International.
Lloyd’s went back to the roots again and provided the coffeehouse away from home. It was a proper coﬀee set: Percolator, coﬀee cup, coﬀee beans, and a pen to note the perfect coﬀee-to-water ratio.
We then tried guessing what that Analyze freebie from Korean Re was, and we did not expect this:
A Foot and Leg Cooling Pad. How nice! This is most useful after a long day at the conference.
Now on to FIDES: Notebooks, pens and USB drives are never out of fashion as freebies, but ﬁdget spinners were quite the trend last. Two interesting new tech accessories here are the “phone grip and stand” and a USB charging cable in the form of a bracelet. Again, we see tokens of the host countries traditional heritage: a pendant of copinol seed, or, in Spanish, semilla de copinol. Copinol, a tree that grows in El Salvador, is much used for furniture and ﬂooring, not just decoration.
FIDES gifted us with lots of bags: a backpack, garment bag, Allianz with an always useful bag to hold all the brochures and Anuario Latinoamericano canvas bag for their books.
So, this is just a preview of the many things one can bring back home from conferences (if it ﬁts in your bag that is.) Whether they be useful knickknacks for travel to work or simple souvenirs it is obvious that a lot of thought went into creating these gifts which not only remind us of an interesting conference but also of the various organisers and sponsors.