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RIMS 2014 conference will feature a revamped schedule and big-name speakers


The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. will encourage members to “Elevate” and take their risk knowledge to new heights at this year's annual conference and exhibition April 27-30 in Denver.

The 2014 conference offers increased educational content, three keynote presentations and other new features as RIMS brings its annual event to the Rocky Mountain region for the first time.

“The biggest thing is it's the first time we've been in Denver for the annual conference,” said Mary Roth, executive director of New York-based RIMS. “We're looking forward to it. It's a great city.”

“I'm anticipating a great conference. I think Denver will be a great city,” said Carolyn Snow, RIMS president and director of risk management for Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Inc. “The Denver chapter, the local people, are so excited to have us come.”

A revamped schedule of educational sessions offering 60% more content through more than 160 different sessions is something else the RIMS leaders are looking forward to this year.

“Part of our ability to do that is that last year in Los Angeles we tested out some one-hour sessions,” Ms. Roth said. Based on the success of those so-called “Power Hour” sessions, all regular sessions this year will be in that one-hour format rather than last year's 75-minute format. The change to 60-minute sessions allows RIMS to include more topics among conference offerings and provides greater choice for attendees, Ms. Roth said.


Again this year, the conference will include several “hot topic” sessions. Among them will be discussion of the potential implications of the expiration of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, cyber liability, global warming, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the impact of legalization of marijuana on employee policies.

This year's conference also will see a return of the 25-minute Thought Leader Theater sessions in the exhibit hall's RIMS Hub. And a new Innovation Showcase in the exhibit hall will provide a venue for exhibitors' product demonstrations and presentations.

“It's basically a little mini-forum area located in the heart of the exhibit hall,” Ms. Roth said.

This year's conference will take a multimedia approach with RIMS TV, sponsored by Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. In addition, “We're also capturing about 50 hours of (conference) content, and we're going to make it available to attendees after the conference,” Ms. Roth said. RIMS also will be live-streaming its Monday morning opening general session.

The 2014 RIMS gathering will include three different keynote presentations. “We've got three really interesting keynote speakers,” said Ms. Snow. “When you look at the three of them, they're all different.”

The keynote speaker during Monday's opening session will be Jordan Belfort, motivational speaker, author and inspiration of the film “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Monday's awards luncheon will include a keynote presentation by author, Paralympic medalist and leadership consultant Bonnie St. John. Finally, as the conference winds down Wednesday afternoon, the finale will include a closing keynote from author and actor Ben Stein.


A daylong post-conference event Thursday will feature a trip to the U.S. Olympics Complex in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Sunday evening's opening reception will be held at the Denver Art Museum. Monday afternoon, the “Get Refreshed” health break in the exhibit hall will offer attendees an opportunity to recharge with healthy snacks and juices.

Tuesday's “Get Cultured: World Cuisines Luncheon” in the exhibit hall will provide samples of food from around the world, while later that afternoon the “Get Elated: Rocky Mountain Ale Tasting” will offer attendees a chance to sample some of 20 different local craft beers in the exhibit hall.

With a nod to next year's RIMS conference venue, Wednesday's lunch will feature the “Get Jazzed: Down on the Bayou” theme, allowing attendees to sample iconic New Orleans dishes and a last chance to meet with exhibitors.

“We already have more exhibitors than we did last year,” Ms. Roth said.The society's leaders are also encouraged by the number of first-time attendees and younger members, RIMS' Rising Risk Professionals, she added.

And attendees are coming from many different countries, Ms. Roth said. “We have about 60 countries represented, so it's a truly international conference.”

“We'll have attendees from our new chapters in Peru and Australia,” added Ms. Snow.