Three days of workshops and lectures start today as EBA’s annual Workplace Benefits Summit kicks off in Boca Raton, Fla.

Holley Maher, speaking on her firsthand experience finding success with private exchanges, hopes her talk will give the audience optimism about the future.“Many people are afraid of change, but I believe there is a huge amount of opportunity for the brokers who choose to think outside the box and embrace the changes versus running from them,” she says.

Also see: Healthy exchange

Wendy Keneipp, partner at Q4intelligence, is seeking to encourage the entire industry to publish quality content online. Researching online before buying a plan is becoming increasingly popular, says Keneipp, who is speaking on marketing as the first step of selling. “We need to get the message out to a broader audience,” she says.

The summit is a chance to take a break from the hectic workday and gain more knowledge about the insurance industry, says Maher, partner of Maher, Rosenheim, Comfort, & Tabash, LLC, in Clayton, Mo.

“A summit like this gives me the opportunity to educate myself in a focused environment,” Maher says. “The added bonus is I have an opportunity to interact with the presenter or the session participants, which only helps me retain and understand the information all the more.”

It’s also an opportunity for face-to-face discussions. “I get to engage in the information in a way an article or a webinar doesn’t allow,” says Maher.

Today features three of the summit’s five keynote speakers — Aflac’s Teresa White is discussing benefits and HR trends for 2015; Fibit Wellness Director Amy McDonough talks about wearable devices; and Scott Haverlock, senior manager of talent & total rewards at Niagara Bottling LLC, shares his thoughts on the power of creativity and innovation in HR.

On Tuesday, Diana Nyad details her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida — something she accomplished in 2013 at the age of 64. Later in the day, EBA’s inaugural Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising awards presentation will include a panel discussion with several of the successful women.

Also see: The Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising

Wednesday will wrap up with keynote speaker author William Donius, who discusses thinking differently about benefits.

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