More than 3,000 contractors, insurance carrier representatives and service provider partners attended the 2015 Crawford Contractor Connection® Conference & Expo in mid-June, setting another attendance record. The three-day conference in Orlando, Fla. offered a chance to learn about the latest industry technology and trends, as well as network with members from the U.S. and Canada.
The 17th annual conference was one of the largest restoration industry exhibitions in North America with 175 exhibitors. This year’s theme for the event, "Be There When It Counts,” was designed to heighten the importance of consistently delivering timely and quality customer service when people need it the most. All Contractor Connection network partners were reminded of their key role in assisting businesses and consumers to get back to their regular lives after a disruptive occurrence.
“I continue to be amazed and honored by the growth and popularity of the Contractor Connection Conference for the insurance and restoration industries,” said Larry Thomas, chief executive officer of Contractor Connection. “Fulfilling our goal of ‘Being There When It Counts’ to help restore lives that are displaced is an important commitment to our clients and contractor network members.”
In keeping with the conference’s theme, Contractor Connection showed its commitment to being there in residents’ time of need by hosting a silent auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity of the greater Orlando area. The silent auction raised more than $11,000 for charity.
“Orlando was a terrific city for our meeting,” Thomas said. “It is perfectly designed to provide a productive working environment while offering tremendous entertainment opportunities for attending family members.”
Keynote speaker Richard Picciotto, a former Fire Department of New York chief and the highest ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse, gave his heroic account of the terrorist attack of September 11, and how first responders made every last effort to be there for others when their lives were on the line. He drew the parallel to contractors that, while they’re not saving lives, they are restoring them every day. Picciotto said that it’s during life’s emergencies when people get their priorities in order, and being there for others in their time of need is what is most important.
Client speakers and an industry panel of experts highlighted the General Session presentations, giving their perspectives on the future outlook of insurance restoration. They maintained the theme that while Contractor Connection has evolved significantly since its inception, the possibilities for continued growth are enormous. The advances of technology were also an underlying theme throughout the discussion, as technology continues to rapidly transform the insurance and restoration industries.
Vince Cole, CEO of Crawford & Company – Americas, welcomed conference attendees at the opening General Session with a presentation on Crawford’s storied past and future growth. He also highlighted the Crawford Americas region’s unique capability to provide a “Total Property Solution” and the importance of Contractor Connection in those plans. Following Picciotto’s presentation, Thomas provided the network an update on Contractor Connection’s current success and future roadmap emphasizing the importance of delivering consistent customer service.
Conference attendees were able to attend various educational break-out sessions providing educational insights on products, services, customer expectations, and what lies ahead in their respective industries.
The conference also featured the fifth annual General Session for Canadian participants. Additionally, Contractor Connection recognized contractors who support the Hire our Heroes (U.S. military veterans) network initiative, and those contractors who joined Crawford in its annual Global Day of Service community service program, as well as highlighting its top-performing network contractors with awards during the closing General Session.
Next year’s Crawford Contractor Connection® Conference & Expo will be held June 20-23, 2016, at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.