It’s been a week since we attended this year’s InsureTech Connect.  Whilst we’ve been busy settling back into our 9 to 5 at buzzvault HQ, these last seven days have provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on our ITC 2019 experience.  Now, we want to share our thoughts on this years conference, including everything from practical industry takeaways to event observations. 

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to Jay Weintraub and his crew for allowing us to showcase buzzvault at this year’s event.  As always, Insuretech Connect acts as an amazing opportunity for us, as well as a chance to connect with the wider Insuretech industry. We will definitely be attending again!

 

1. Tech versus Innovation

As veteran ITC attendees, it’s interesting to see how the conference has changed in the span of a year.  There now seems to be a far greater focus on tech and automation, compared to a more innovation or ‘disruption’ driven conversation at last years event.  This was especially prevalent in the motor sector, with AI and digital advancement playing a part in many of the presentations given. 

Whilst this may reflect a greater acceptance of innovation throughout the Insuretech industry, especially as it shifts from the early adopter stage to early majority, it’s important that events such as Insuretech Connect champion this kind of thinking.  No industry is perfect and insurance still has a long way to go when it comes to user experience and customer partnerships. Therefore, the role of innovation is vital, especially when creating the infrastructure to support ever advancing technology. 

Events like InsureTech Connect are a great opportunity to fuel this innovative thinking.  At this years conference alone, there were roughly 7000 start-ups, investors and incubators under one roof, making it the perfect space for meaningful, innovation focused discussion.  We’d love to see more of this in the future!

 

2. Big brands and Insuretech Interest

Another change that caught our attention was the growing presence of big brands and large scale consultancy firms at this years conference.  This reflected an increased interest and engagement in the industry, with a clear drive to modernise insurance and consult on tech matters.  It seems that Insuretech is becoming a more and more attractive industry to outside businesses, so it will be interesting to see how this enthusiasm and involvement plays out in the coming years. 

 

3. The Role of Startups

Following on from our previous point, startups now play a far smaller role within the conference itself. This in part may be a result of the natural progression of early stage startups to mature ventures, however both the position and percentage of new startups within the event reflected a shift in focus away from these businesses.  This does not mean, however, that InsureTech Connect is still not a fantastic event for startups, with phenomenal organisation and networking on offer for ventures of all sizes. We were blown away with the amount of people we were able to connect with, both familiar faces and new ones.   

In contrast, there also appeared to be far more investors on the scene this year, which is great news for those looking for backing.  Additionally, most of these are mid to late investors, showing greater confidence and interest in the Insuretech industry and a mirroring of the sector’s maturation. 

 

4. Influencers and Innovation

We were delighted to see lots of key influencers at this year’s conference keeping important conversations around innovation and disruption flowing.  This not only gave these discussions a more individualised narrative, that allowed nuance and creative thinking to shine, but also leveraged their media presence to ensure innovation was not pushed aside. 

 

5. A Whirlwind Three Days

Every day at InsureTech Connect feels like 3 days wrapped into one when you’re from the UK. All thanks to those lovely, lovely time differences.  Breakfast is dominated by liaising with the UK office and making sure everyone is up to speed, then its a whirlwind ten hours spent at the conference, which is then topped off with even more networking late into the night.  

It’s a crazy amount to fit into three days, especially when faced with the sheer scale of the conference and the amount of people attending.  Our jet lag has just about worn off, but we’d happily miss out on sleep again given how much we were able to achieve at this year’s event. 

 

6. After Party Antics

And finally; Billy Idol’s performance at the closing party. Half the audience loved him and half were googling him. Which camp are you?

 

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