Tied Up with A Bow: FICP in Marco Island

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A massive dessert table descended from the ceiling during the final evening banquet.

Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals’ Annual Conference just wrapped up at the JW Marriott Marco Island Resort with a fabulous final evening event including a descending dessert table and a private performance by Sugar Ray.

The FICP planning team created an Everglades-themed evening that members will be talking about for years, culminating in a surprise moment where a huge dessert table, half the length of the ballroom, slowly and painstakingly descended from the ceiling, heaped with hundreds of stunningly beautiful desserts.

Not a sweet was out of place when it landed.

Not a sweet was out of place.

That wow moment embodied the definition of incentive travel by designing an experience that individuals could not create on their own—an unforgettable crescendo to three days of education and networking for more than 700 total attendees.

Keynote speaker Michele Poler, founder of Hello Fears, set the tone for the event on Sunday afternoon, as she recapped her brave and often hilarious journey, spending 100 days doing everything that terrified her, from riding giant rollercoasters and jumping from a plane to dancing with abandon in the middle of Times Square.

Educational sessions focused on the topics that are front of mind for attendees, with both a general session and a breakout by FICP favorite James Spellos, President of Meeting U, devoted to AI. Another attendee favorite, the Speakers Showcase, featured three keynote speakers—Courtney Clark, Resilience and ReVisionary Thinking Expert; Hamza Khan on the Future of Work; and Personal Branding and Customer Experience Expert Sylvie di Giusto—who then led breakout sessions with audience members.

JW Marriott Marco Island Resort

Despite the rainy weather, spirits were high during networking events that included an indoor activity supporting Meals of Hope and the local community and the popular PRTRAIT sessions, a photography technique developed by Dear World in which attendees get acquainted by asking random questions as they snap head shots of each other.

Also at the event, FICP announced its 2026 Annual Conference: November 15-18 at The Hyatt Regency  New Orleans, which will be fresh off a renovation in time for the 2025 Super Bowl.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.