Biba goes viral

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Emmanuel KenningIt appears from Biba 2011 that brokers may finally be waking up to the power of technology.

Not just the need to switch from green screen clunking systems that have all the nimbleness of the Eiffel Tower to real time pricing web-enabled offerings that can twist and turn like Lionel Messi - but also Twitter.

Yup, that's right, Twitter.

Our recent Sentiment Survey found that only 28% of brokers promoted their business using social media of which only one third used this particular channel.

Yet at this year's British Insurance Brokers' Association jamboree there was something different going on and I honestly feel that brokers were coming around to the tweet.

The good gentlemen and ladies at Biba did a great job again with the venue and speakers. But for me it was the intangible "atmosphere" which was even better than last year at the ExCeL in London (which also means good call Biba on returning to Manchester next year.)

There are I accept many reasons for the better atmosphere but I honestly believe you can put Twitter in the mix. On numerous occasions I spoke with brokers and delegates who were keeping up-to-date while manning a stand, had been tipped off about a new product by checking online, or had enjoyed some witty web-based banter with a competitor. Not to mention of course that it provided an essential tool for reaching out to those unable to attend.

Hashtag

Anyone following the #biba2011 hashtag would have been impressed with the variety and volume of the tweets on offer. In fact it even trended in Manchester meaning it was one of the most talked about topics in that part of Twitterland. As I write people are still online debating what they learnt, publicising their offering or simply reminiscing about the fun they had.

Occasionally - dare I say perhaps like brokers? - we in the media can be guilty of falling into the delights of navel gazing. But thinking about communicating and publishing thoughts is something that brokers should have on their radar.

Like most things you only get out what you put in.

Let's hope next year both the Sentiment Survey will show an increase in brokers using social media and the #biba2012 timeline will be even busier with brokers getting involved.

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