The opening night of the conference just happened to coincide with the Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland Browns football game. My hotel was just across the street from the game and the place was crawling with rowdy Steelers fans. As a Browns fan, I took a low profile. Somebody asked me where I was from and I said Akron. They had no clue about its proximity to Cleveland, so I was OK.

I watched the game from my hotel window. That was interesting in itself because of the television tape delay. When a touch down occurred, I heard the roar of the crowd before the play even happened on TV — couldn’t quite get my hands around that one.

Go Browns!

At MarkeTTech, IdeaStar rolled out its new booth and we had lots of great conversations with insurance executives. There were some really interesting sessions on marketing technologies and techniques. One interesting company was VERITAS. The way I understand their technology, when you are looking for an insurance product on their Web site, they’ll walk you through a series of preferences, then send a customized brochure through the mail. It’s based on the potential customer answers to the online questions. There’s definite application to helping people figure out what type of insurance product they should buy. I’m looking forward to doing a little networking with them.

Mike Wise and friends from USI Affinity at the IdeaStar booth.

During the conference, I facilitated a discussion on www.unionsecure.com which IdeaStar developed. It went very well. There was a lot of interest. But, back by popular demand, here is the best part.

Last but not least, our client site, www.unionsecure.com was presented a Gold Medal award in the Marketing Methods competition for an e-commerce site. We’re now up for the Best of PIMA at the PIMA annual meeting in March.

I’m really pleased with this award because it gives us and UnionSecure positive recognition among our peers. The site has processed over 6,000 insurance applications since its launch in March 2005, has a positive return on investment, was launched in three months, and is available for repurposing for similar enrollment situations. All primary stake holders are pleased.

The Winning Team: IdeaStar’s development group from left to right: Graphic Designer Dave Mottram, Mike Wise, Project Manager Jane Hudeck, Developers Phil Hall and Dale Cassidy

I was also elected as a “tri-chair” for the 2006 MarketTech Symposium which will be in Chicago. It’s going to be a great conference. I hope to see you there!