2015 Discovery Conference A Great Success!
More than 375 iMIS users, solution providers, consultants and vendors gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia to participate in the 10th Annual NiUG Discovery Conference held on October 12-14. This event attracted participants as far as the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and even Australia.
With 37 partners and exhibitors, this year’s conference featured 68 educational sessions, training classes, demonstrations, exhibitor showcases, networking events and began with 189 iMIS-users participating in training classes on Monday. The full conference opened on Tuesday and kicked off with updates on NiUG International’s goals and plans. Attendees also learned the newest product updates on “Q4 2015” — the latest release of the iMIS 20 Engagement Management System (EMS).
In addition to the educational offerings, this year’s conference experienced many changes and improvements’ including NiUG’s redesigned RiSE website and iMIS 20.2 upgrade. Conference registration was also streamlined thanks to enSync Corporation’s KioskXpress. Through a check-in kiosk or QR code scanning, attendees printed their own name badges.
Another addition to the Discovery Conference was the Mosaic 365 App. Of the 375 attendees, nearly 71% downloaded and utilized the new NiUG mobile app. The interactive app allowed attendees to update their member profiles, complete session evaluations, connect with other conference attendees, access conference materials, set reminders, and even connect with NiUG on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Speed Networking was also added to this year’s agenda. The goal of the session(s) was to help connect attendees with fellow iMIS-users. This event was the brain child of NiUG’s Membership and Program Specialist, Lisa Serrano, as a way to connect iMIS-users with each other. Diane Baldwin, Accounting Manager for the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina said, “It was way out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I forced myself to do it.”
Maria Mnookin, Education Program Manager for the American Institute of Steel Construction also participated in the event. She said she enjoyed meeting other iMIS-users and felt more familiar with others attending the conference.
The John Howarth Memorial Award was presented during this year’s opening session. The award recognizes those individuals who represent NiUG’s mission with passion, persistence, optimism and grace under pressure. The award was named for John Howarth who was instrumental in NiUG’s history and held a deep rooted passion for both iMIS and the iMIS community.
In remembrance of John’s spirit, the Board of Directors and JHMA Committee recognize two individuals who have distinguished themselves in service to the iMIS Community. The 2015 recipients of the John Howarth Memorial Award are:
Paul Peeples, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Florida Association of Insurance Agents Paul has continually supported NiUG’s mission and throughout the years, has been actively involved, serving on the Board of Directors for at least ten years in a variety of roles, including President.
Nathan Slovin, Director of Client Excellence Programs for Advanced Solutions International Nathan, one of the original founders of NiUG is a tireless advocate of the iMIS client. In recent years, he has been very involved in getting iMIS executives – across the globe – more in tune and connected with iMIS.
“The award recognizes individuals who reflect the passion John always displayed in his life, said Michele Morgan, Executive Director of NiUG International. “I was thrilled to learn of this year’s recipients, because both Paul and Nathan have been actively involved in NiUG and the iMIS community while consistently reflecting John’s legacy.”
The Clarendon Ballroom was the destination for this year’s Casino-themed networking event. In addition to dinner and drinks, the event enabled attendees to build their professional in a more laid back, fun atmosphere. Attendees’ “winnings” were exchanged for chances to win various prizes including an iPad Mini.
The results of the Product Advisory Committee’s (PAC) efforts were also unveiled during the conference. Thanks to the excellent working relationship between NiUG and ASI, many issues and enhancement requests from our members were addressed and brought into the iMIS product. For a complete list of items, click here.
“At NiUG, it is our goal and mission to educate and connect users within the iMIS community. I believe this year’s Discovery Conference was a prime example of our organization’s dedication to both our mission and our members,” said NiUG’s Executive Director, Michele Morgan. “We strive to make our members’ lives easier while saving them time, money, and stress – that is what NiUG is all about. We are so grateful to attendees, partners, and sponsors who helped us increase the value the Discovery Conference delivers.”
With the 2015 Discovery Conference history, it’s time to start planning 2016’s events including the NiUG Chicago Conference, April 11-13 at The Westin Chicago River North in downtown Chicago, Illinois and the NiUG Discovery Conference, September 26-28 at The Hyatt Regency at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland.