The Return of In-Person Events

With all the complex challenges and opportunities facing the industry, there is real benefit to meeting face to face.

a group of people in an auditorium facing forward

Over the last five years, the risks insurance tackles and the people it protects have undergone a  systemic shift. In such an intense period of change, the race is truly underway for insurance companies to keep up with the most innovative technologies and rising customer expectations – all while operating in an increasingly unpredictable risk environment. Insurers must move faster than ever to execute ambitious transformation plans and innovate with customer-centric products to not only gain market share but ultimately retain it profitably. 

That's why we're excited that in-person events are making a comeback this year. With all the complex challenges and opportunities facing the industry, there is real benefit to meeting face to face.

As Matteo puts it: “As a speaker, I need to feel the  energy of the people in the room and to look at their eyes while I’m presenting. Also, quality networking requires an onsite presence. You build quicker (and better) relationships with people who are physically in front of you, than virtually. I see one more fundamental reason for going back to the in-person format, too: the depth and breadth of the lessons learned.” 

In today’s fast-moving market, with unsettled customer behaviors and trends, rapidly adapting to change is fundamental not only for thriving but even for surviving. Reuters Events exists to deliver the intelligence and foster the relationships that shape strategy and secure growth for leading insurers worldwide – and there’s no better way to do this than in-person.  

Each of us have reflected on the personal experience and identified at least three connected reasons why in-person conferences are better for learning: 

  • The Commitment: When you decide to attend an in-person event, you are investing a  significant amount of your time. You keep your diary clear all day; the only placeholders from the outside world are truly unavoidable things. Moreover, you trust the editor who curated the content, and you attend most of the sessions on the agenda. However, at virtual  events, where computer fatigue is a real thing, you don’t block out the calendar and listen to each session – instead opting to attend a few sessions that you have pre-evaluated as important for you, therefore limiting your experience to solely familiar content. You likely leave the online platform just after you ingested the content, leaving you without interaction and exposure to lateral thinking. On the flipside, at an in-person conference you spend time hearing from and talking with strangers, and you feed your brain with their alternative points of view and out-of-the-box ideas. 
  • The Interaction: To speak in front of a cup of coffee with the speaker and some of the attendees allows you to get the color that exists around a topic. Everything seems easy on the polished slides presented, and online you are only scraping the surface of an insurance innovation initiative. It is only when talking with those who have directly experimented and tried new ideas that you can understand what happens behind the scenes. The interactions between the brains of the in-person attendees generates knowledge that no one of them would have obtained alone. 
  • With an on-site presence, you are there 100%. The contents of the conference and the participants around you come first. When you are attending remotely from your home, you have many sources of distraction from your partner to your pet, and  even your fridge! There’s always that presentation to finish, and that email backlog to address. All these forces compete – together with the notifications on your phone – for your attention and limit your focus on learning.  

We are looking forward to catching up with you in-person at events in the coming months. 

This article was co-written by Alexandra Wilson, insurance project director at Reuters Events, and Matteo Carbone, director of the IoT Insurance Observatory and board member at Net InsuranceFor more information or to get involved in Reuters events, email

Matteo Carbone

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Matteo Carbone

Matteo Carbone is founder and director of the Connected Insurance Observatory and a global insurtech thought leader. He is an author and public speaker who is internationally recognized as an insurance industry strategist with a specialization in innovation.


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