It all started some 9 years ago when the International Union of Marine Insurers (IUMI) announced that South Africa would be hosting their annual insurance conference in 2018 – the first time ever on African soil in 144 years. Since then, SAIA and AMUSA has been working tirelessly on putting together a world class event which would live up to the standards this community has become accustomed to.
Following years of planning and meetings, the day finally arrived on 21 September when things kicked off. 530 delegates from 39 countries and 6 continents descended on Cape Town for the start of the event. This included 73 South African delegates as well representation from 7 other African countries – a record for any IUMI conference.
Following some technical committee meetings over the weekend, the official launch was hosted at the Grand Africa Café and Beach. It was then when the delegates realised that we do things differently in Africa. Who wears suits and ties to the beach? So, it wasn’t long before the ties came off and a few braved the chill in the air to kick off their shoes and feel the sand in their toes.
Monday morning saw everyone get down to business when the Opening Session kicked off. Following welcomes by the IUMI President, Dieter Berg and SAIA’s Viviene Pearson, we were treated to a Host Coty welcome by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille.
The common theme of the conference this year was “Managing Emerging Risks and Exposures – Think the unthinkable” and 3 days of thought-provoking papers were presented, and discussions followed. How do you account for, and underwrite risks that you don’t even know about let alone understand?
We were exceptionally proud of the number of South African presenters who took the stage this year, giving the prestigious audience some much needed insight into risks faced in Southern Africa. This was extremely well received, and many discussions followed during the coffee and lunch breaks, held in the exhibition centre. Most of our sponsors also had the opportunity to showcase their companies through exhibition stands in the break areas, allowing regular interaction with the delegates.
It’s all over
And, after 3 intense days of discussions, questions and deliberations, it all came to an exhausting end, and what a fitting send-off. In a glass marquee at the oldest building in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope, the organising committee hosted a South African Gala dinner where we said a big thank you to all our delegates. After a delicious dinner, Freshly Ground kicked off the festivities with their internationally recognised songs followed by some lively music from a DJ to close off the evening.
We have since been inundated with letters thanking the committee for the fabulous organisation of the event and what is most pleasing is that many intend returning on holiday with their families.
I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication shown by the organising committee in putting together this huge achievement. With all said and done, next year it will be off to Toronto, Canada. We hope to see some of you there.
For more information contact:
Mike Brews, AMUSA/ IUMI 2018 Organising Committee Chairman