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NIBA cancels Melbourne convention

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The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has cancelled its annual convention scheduled for Melbourne in October due to the coronavirus outbreak.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth says the board has been closely monitoring developments and the advice of authorities to ensure necessary steps are taken to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and suppliers.

“At this stage, it is very difficult to predict what the situation will be in October and what restrictions may still be in place,” he said today. “However, after very careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NIBA Convention.”

Mr Booth says NIBA believes the decision will allow members to focus on their clients during what is a very difficult time for many.

The annual event, planned this time for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 26-27, attracts hundreds of delegates. National annual awards, including for Broker of the Year and Young Broker of the Year, are also presented at the event.

Mr Booth says NIBA plans to continue with the awards program, but the process will likely work to a different timeframe and it is yet to be decided how winners will be announced.

“Clearly we are not going to be able to make announcements at our major events in the middle of the year for our state winners, or at the convention for the national winners,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Nevertheless, we think it is critically important to celebrate the good things that happen in broking and to recognise excellence.”

NIBA’s decision on the convention follows the cancellation of a number of major insurance industry events, given the rapid escalation of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Insurance Council of Australia cancelled its annual forum scheduled for last month and annual conferences and events are now being cancelled well into the second half of the year.

NIBA says the 2021 convention will be held on the Gold Coast from October 11-12.