Venue: Allianz Life Campus
Attendees: 78 female agents
For its Womenetwork symposium, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America invited its top-producing independent saleswomen to spend extra face time with company leaders. From the meeting format to the food and dÃ©cor, the company strived to make the guests feel special and connected to Allianz Life, a Golden Valley–based provider of retirement products.
Taking what company leaders learned from their “Allianz Women, Money, and Power” studies, meeting planners structured the three-day event to match the way the women surveyed prefer to learn and network: through in-depth teaching from experts and sharing best practices. By alternating presentations from top Allianz executives and financial experts with networking time, meeting planner Lisa Marie Borchert’s goal was to create a female-centric event.
After guests arrived from across the country, attendees enjoyed back and neck massages, paraffin dips for their hands, and a bit of fun with handwriting analysis. They also dined on comfort foods such as butternut squash ravioli, carved beef tenderloin, and a French fry bar and sampled unique cocktails such as vodka-infused tea. DÃ©cor highlights included shimmering centerpieces and a glittery, edible tower called Bedazzle My Bonbons.
Guests received a mouse pad with window slots for photos, bright green laptop bags, and a bejeweled USB drive that was filled with Allianz resources. On the second night, guests enjoyed a reception and dinner.
“Our industry is very male-dominated, so most of the meetings they go to have a male focus,” Borchert says. “It’s fun for women to come and see us paying attention to the female advisors. They totally appreciate it, and then they want to attend more of our meetings.”
As the event theme “Make the Connection” suggests, the symposium was designed to deepen these top producers’ loyalty to Allianz. Analysis after the event revealed that the company had improved retention—the number of women selling Allianz products—and that those salespeople increased their sales volume of Allianz products, compared to the previous year, notes Sherri DuMond, vice president of internal sales and sales development. She attributes that success to the women-focused event.
“Women want to know they are important and that we value them and respond to their concerns,” DuMond says. “By helping them be successful and grow their careers, it helps them align to us. We know that when women are treated well, they will continue to do business with companies where there is strong alignment with the business objectives.”
Theme: Make the Connection
Goal: Building stronger links between the company’s independent female sales force and Allianz while helping the saleswomen to grow their businesses
One way Allianz recognized attendees was the Red Carpet walk during the first morning of the symposium. More than 2,000 Allianz employees and top management lined the red carpet laid in the walkway between buildings, cheering their guests and giving them a standing ovation. “These people work independently, and they don’t get much feedback and praise. We want to thank them for selling our products and recognize that they are why we have jobs,” DuMond says. “We got a lot of feedback that they appreciated it.”
Other highlights from that day included inviting LPGA player Azahara Munoz, whom Allianz sponsors, to sign visors and give guests tips on a putting green. Simultaneously, waiters served appetizer and wine pairings. And there was plenty of time for networking, connecting, and sharing opinions with other guests and key Allianz leaders.
Reception and Dinner Menu
Margarita Risotto Action Station
Carved Bird Station
Flambe Dessert Station
The Event Team
Event planner: Lisa Marie Borchert, internal corporate planner, Allianz Life
Catering: Eurest Dining Services, part of Compass Group of North America
Linens: Linen Effects
Floral and DÃ©cor: Event Lab
Ground Transportation: Premier Transportation