What we learned from our first BIBA as an exhibitor

Listening to brokers is embedded in Aqueous’ culture, and to be able to do that in person, with so many brokers, all in one place, at this month’s BIBA Conference in Manchester, was, quite honestly, fantastic. It also marked a watershed for the business as a whole, taking a stand for the first time and underling that our once small start-up has now matured into an established, professional, dare-we-say award-winning, and recognised SME-focused market player.

Having been to BIBA as delegates for many years it was a little nerve-wracking to attend as an exhibitor for the first time – and to invest in a stand in pole-position opposite the entrance. However as soon as the doors opened on the first morning any lingering doubts soon disappeared and, whilst it may sound like a cliché, the conference genuinely exceeded all of our expectations.

Missing piece of the jigsaw

Aqueous has grown exponentially over the last two years and the chance to finally meet and greet in person – as opposed to on a screen – so many of the brokers that have joined us on our journey since the first lockdown in March 2020 felt invaluable. In many respects, meeting these brokers face to face felt like putting in place the missing piece of the jigsaw. Being able to look each other in the eye, and demonstrate in person our professionalism, appetite and overall proposition has certainly helped us cement those relationships.

But it was not all about meeting our newer and older broking partners, but a chance to meet so many new potential broking partners, talk through our shared goals and set in train what will no doubt prove to be fruitful new relationships.

We also know from the brokers that poured onto our stand that they love our existing proposition and service capabilities – same-day, instant quotations for SME clients – our product offering across the professional indemnity and SME package (food, hospitality, leisure, and hotel) markets – and the quality of our long-term, reliable, and stable capacity providers. The restructure of our business earlier this year around trading style rather than class, making us product agnostic and providing access to e-traded product lines and underwriting expertise via a single contact, also gained a massive thumbs up.

New product lines

But and there is a but, brokers were clear that they also wanted more from us – and for Aqueous to extend its offering into new product lines outside of the existing portfolio. The enthusiasm for our model and demand for more have certainly given us food for thought – so watch this space.

In the meantime, we are already planning our presence for BIBA 2023, assessing how many more light refreshments we might need to order for the stand. So, thanks again to all of those who visited us at BIBA this month – and to those who did not make it we look forward to welcoming you next year.

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