Providing certification and education in a challenging field
The Casualty Actuarial Society provides certification and ongoing education opportunities to experts in property and casualty insurance, reinsurance, risk management, and enterprise risk management. The organization consists of approximately 30 staff members, three of whom are dedicated to professional education.
CAS offers annual meetings, seminars, webinars and online courses that allow members to earn a variety of professional credentials within the field of actuarial science. In this complex and ever-evolving discipline, CAS must identify high-quality content, present it to members clearly, and evaluate the results.
Bottlenecked by a clunky system
CAS found that their previous abstract management system was unreliable, ineffcient, and unable to process the sheer volume of required information. Reports would output data in unusable formats, and sometimes data wouldn't show up at all. The system required multiple login credentials to perform tasks associated with different roles (speakers, track owners, admins, etc.) and an outdated user interface presented a significant learning curve to new users.
Moreover, the lack of integration with CAS systems like Abila’s netFORUM Enterprise meant that leveraging the abstract management system’s output required additional time and effort, and increased the likelihood of mistakes creeping into the results.
Wanted: reliability, with room for growth
CAS needed a solution that solved these problems and helped them meet growth goals, including the joint sponsorship of events with other actuarial organizations, local and international. Vincent Edwards, CAS' Professional Education Manager, summarizes the central role of conference management software in achieving this goal: “We want our speakers, track owners, and attendees to have the best experience possible.”
Having struggled with an unreliable system, CAS was initially interested in getting the most bang for their buck from a big brand name, but Edwards found that “some of the products were quite pricey.” They discovered Hubb at the ASAE Spring Expo in 2015, and that Hubb offered CAS' must-have features at an attractive price point.
Nora Potter, CAS' Educational Program Coordinator, identifies their needs: “Reporting was a huge thing for us, as well as calls for presentations.... The Attendee Portal was very important for us because it's one thing to actually have the database, and it's another thing to show off what the attendees are going to see.”
Diving deeper, CAS found that Hubb did more than replace the unreliable features of their previous system. “Hubb’s integration with our AMS, Abila netFORUM Enterprise really tipped it over the edge for us.” CAS speakers, track owners and attendees could use their existing netFORUM credentials to access Hubb and have much of their personal information pre-populated from their netFORUM profile. Hubb became a valuable bridge between their membership data in netFORUM and their event content.
How Hubb helped
CAS reports marked improvement in their event management processes since implementation. “The things that we do in Hubb are easier and better than it was with our previous systems,” Edwards says. Hubb streamlines the process of taking “all that data and ensuring it gets reported out in useful ways, and getting those reports as easily as possible.... Even more so, we funnel that to an online presence.”
I love that the Hubb team is constantly adding new and different functionalities just to make our jobs easier."
Educational Program Coordinator at CAS
Although mobile integration isn't what drove CAS into the market for conference planning software, Edwards notes the value-add: “Hubb integrates with our mobile app, which is a huge bonus. The integration alleviates possible errors and dramatically reduces staff time needed to keep updating the system throughout the weeks leading up to the seminar—or even during or after... We weren't able to accomplish that with our previous vendor.” Hubb became the central repository for event content that enables the CAS Education team to deliver a consistent and accurate experience to their members across all their engagement channels: websites, printed materials, and mobile applications.
While it was reliable tools at the right price that initially won CAS over, Potter reflects on the importance of the human element since implementation: “I wasn't really aware of how much Hubb would be able to accommodate any obstacles that we might run into. I love that the Hubb team is constantly adding new and different functionalities just to make our jobs easier.”
Since switching to Hubb, CAS has streamlined their workflow, simplified content management, improved the user experience across the board, and worked closely with the Hubb team to tailor the system to their needs. Edwards is optimistic about how Hubb can help them achieve their goals in the years to come: “We're very pleased with what we've gotten so far, and have great expectations for the future.”