Naji Haddad: We envision BLIS as a platform that promotes innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing!
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BLIS Experience is perhaps the most important event of the insurance industry in our region since it attracts every year both renowned speakers from all over the world and hundreds of insurance professionals from Lebanon, Cyprus, and the wider region.
BLIS Experience returns for 6th consecutive year, bearing the title “Be the Cause” and aims, as the initiator of the event, Naji Haddad tells us, to encourage professionals to shake the minds and emotions of their customers, providing absolute protection and creating success stories.
On the occasion of the upcoming conference that Cyprus Insurance News is a media partner, we talked with the initiator and organizer of the conference Naji Haddad about many different things around the organization of the BLIS Experience over the last 6 years.
Naji Haddad is a distinguished Lebanese insurance consultant active in the global insurance industry. In addition to being the organizer of the BLIS Experience, Naji is MDRT’s President for the Middle East – Africa & South Asia Region and is an ambassador for both Life Happens for the Middle East and GAMA.
Read below the very interesting conversation with Naji Haddad.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind organizing the BLIS insurance conference in Lebanon and how it has evolved over the last years?
The BLIS insurance conference in Lebanon serves as a yearly beacon for the insurance industry, particularly the life insurance sector. It has evolved into a growth opportunity for insurance professionals from Lebanon, Europe, and the MENA region. Over the years, BLIS has provided delegates with new skills and knowledge, fostering sustainable business practices and generating value for clients while stimulating new business and exponential growth.
What are some of the key objectives or themes that the BLIS Experience aims to address and promote within the insurance industry?
BLIS Experience aims to empower insurance professionals to influence clients’ decision-making process. This year’s theme, “Be the Cause,” encourages agents to shake clients’ brains and emotions, providing ultimate protection and creating success stories. Managers are urged to recruit the right people and offer fulfilling career paths. The objective is to generate growth, value, and a thriving insurance industry.
In what ways has the BLIS conference contributed to the growth and development of the insurance sector in Lebanon and in the wider area?
BLIS conference has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the insurance sector in Lebanon and the wider area. It provides a growth opportunity for professionals, fosters sustainable practices, generates value for clients, and stimulates new business growth. By sharing knowledge, insights, and innovative strategies, BLIS contributes to elevating the insurance industry, driving progress and success for individuals and the sector as a whole.
Could you highlight some of the notable speakers or industry experts who will participate in BLIS this year and the impact you want them to have on attendees?
This year’s BLIS conference will feature notable speakers and industry experts such as Tony Gordon, Solomon Hicks, Tom Hegna, Kaplan Mobray and Sanjay Tolani etc… These speakers bring their expertise in sales, marketing, leadership, personal development, insurance, and financial planning. The impact of their insights, strategies, and inspiration is expected to transform attendees’ knowledge and empower them to excel in their roles within the insurance industry.
What are some of the unique features or elements of the BLIS conference that set it apart from other insurance events in the region?
BLIS stands out from other insurance events in the region due to its top-notch speakers, diverse global attendees, and a combination of entertainment and learning experiences for agents. The conference provides a dynamic and engaging environment, fostering networking opportunities, knowledge sharing, and professional growth. Its balance between education and enjoyment creates a unique atmosphere that sets it apart.
Can you share any success stories or achievements that have emerged from past BLIS conferences, such as collaborations or initiatives spurred by the event?
Past BLIS conferences have witnessed the emergence of success stories, collaborations, and initiatives. These include fruitful partnerships formed between attendees, leading to new business ventures, joint initiatives, and shared knowledge. BLIS acts as a catalyst for collaboration and innovation within the insurance industry, nurturing a supportive ecosystem that continues to thrive beyond the event itself.
Are there any specific plans or innovations in store for future editions of the BLIS Experience that you can share with our readers?
For future editions of the BLIS Experience, there are plans to expand beyond Beirut, Lebanon, potentially exploring franchising opportunities. This ambitious vision aims to take the BLIS conference worldwide, providing insurance professionals globally with enriching experiences. By considering franchise options, BLIS seeks to establish itself as a leading international insurance conference, fostering growth and opportunities for agents and professionals around the world.
What are your aspirations and vision for the future of the BLIS conference, and how do you see it contributing to the overall growth of the insurance industry in Lebanon and beyond?
Our aspirations for the BLIS conference include continued growth, international recognition, and being a driving force for positive change in the insurance industry. We envision BLIS as a platform that fosters innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, contributing to the growth of the insurance industry in Lebanon and beyond. By empowering professionals and addressing emerging trends, BLIS aims to elevate the industry and create a vibrant, future-ready sector.
As the organizer of the BLIS conference, what challenges have you encountered along the way and how have you overcome them?
As the organizer of the BLIS conference, we have encountered various challenges throughout the years, including the economic situation in Lebanon and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the economic difficulties faced by the country, we also had to navigate the complexities of organizing the event during the peak of the pandemic. In 2020, we faced the immense challenge of implementing the event while COVID-19 was at its peak. To ensure the safety of all attendees, we had to adapt and implement strict safety measures. We booked a conference room for 1000 people but had to adjust the seating to accommodate only 200 people, with a significant distance between the chairs. All necessary protection and safety measures were diligently applied. This situation pushed us to pioneer the concept of a high-scale hybrid event, which allowed us to bring together thousands of participants, including main speakers and panel discussions, through remote connections. The event was then broadcasted live on large screens, ensuring that attendees could still engage and participate in a meaningful way. In 2021, although the challenge was less significant, we continued with the hybrid format due to ongoing concerns related to the pandemic. The event attracted attendees from even more countries, expanding its global reach. To facilitate communication and inclusivity, the conference was simultaneously translated into four languages, ensuring that participants could fully engage and understand the valuable content being shared.
Despite the challenging circumstances, we successfully adapted to the evolving circumstances brought about by the pandemic. Our ability to pioneer and execute a hybrid event format, leveraging technology and remote connectivity, allowed us to overcome the limitations imposed by the pandemic and continue delivering a valuable and engaging conference experience to our attendees.
These experiences have reinforced our resilience and ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances. As the organizer of the BLIS conference, we are committed to overcoming challenges, finding innovative solutions, and ensuring the success of the event year after year.
In your opinion, what are some of the emerging trends or areas of focus that the insurance industry should be paying attention to, and how does the BLIS conference address these?
One of the emerging trends in the insurance industry is the integration of technology. The industry should pay attention to technology’s adaptation, including underwriting processes, customer engagement, and data analytics. BLIS addresses this trend by featuring sessions and discussions on leveraging technology in insurance operations. It explores advancements like artificial intelligence, digital platforms, and data-driven insights. By addressing these trends, BLIS equips attendees with the knowledge and strategies to navigate the evolving landscape of the insurance industry.
The BLIS Experience has attracted sponsors and attendees from Cyprus in recent years. Could you tell us more about the significance of this cross-border participation and the benefits it brings to the conference and the insurance industry as a whole?
The cross-border participation from Cyprus in recent BLIS conferences is significant as it showcases the conference’s growing reputation and appeal beyond national borders. Cyprus, being one of the leading countries participating in BLIS, brings valuable perspectives, experiences, and industry insights. This participation fosters cultural exchange, networking, and collaboration among professionals from different regions. It benefits the conference by enhancing its diversity and knowledge-sharing capabilities, and the insurance industry as a whole by fostering global connections and promoting best practices internationally.