On the Road to “Normalcy”


On the Road to The period since the pandemic began has been one of fits and starts, ups and downs, as we’ve tried to adapt to a changed reality. So many things we’d taken for granted suddenly seemed simply out of reach.  But adapt we did.

Over the past two and a half years, we’ve perfected an array of digital connections, learned the pros (and cons) of video meetings, perfected models for “working from not here” in office environments, and looked forward to the day when more balance could safely emerge.

The past few weeks have brought much of that balance to the Aite-Novarica Group Insurance practice. I had the chance to begin my longest “on the road” venture in years when I made my way to Philadelphia to host our first in-person Regional Roundtable since 2019. It was a brilliant success, although it was not without some late-breaking drama; several participants came down with COVID shortly before the event, and we deftly went from in-person to hybrid mode with the help of some technology.

From the City of Brotherly Love, I journeyed to Las Vegas to be part of the InsureTech Connect conference. Along with Jeff Goldberg and Martina Conlon, I had the chance to co-host our first CIO Research Council Meeting since April 2019. New research and insights were foundational to the agenda, of course. The major lesson we learned was that we’ll need a bigger room for 2023! Standing on a stage for the first time in three years, it was gratifying to “play” to a standing-room-only audience, which was highly engaged and very interactive.

From the Nevada desert, it was on to the City by the Bay where I had the chance to connect with both venture capitalists and startup entrepreneurs as we dive deeply into the final planning stages for our Silicon Valley Innovation Tour, the next iteration of which will happen in 2023.

The one challenge on the whole trip? My return flight was canceled, leaving me “stranded” in San Jose for an extra night. A first-world problem if there ever was one! Even in a moment of potential frustration, this proved to be another opportunity to be flexible and adapt to the situation. While out having lunch on the “wrong” coast, I ran into someone whose work could well be relevant to our next Silicon Valley Innovation Tour. Connection made and value added in a most unexpected way.

While excitement for a return to in-person events seems high, it also appears that a balance of virtual and in-person events is the future state we should prepare for in the near term. To join us in person on our next Silicon Valley Innovation Tour, register here: