Gauntlet's 2021 Appointed Representative Conference
The 2021 Gauntlet AR Conference fused game-changing announcements and insurer presentations, with challenging puzzles, comedy, networking and, the highlight for many – the 2021 Appointed Representative Awards.
This jam-packed one-day event took place at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate against a backdrop of a mini September heatwave and with support from insurer Hiscox, IT software solutions provider, Acturis, and Willis Towers Watson Networks.
Favourable weather assisted the outdoor Crystal Maze-style challenges, although puzzled faces were just as evident on the balance beams and obstacle courses, as around the indoor brain-teasers, which included giant Rubik Cube building and ‘bomb detonation’.
Gauntlet’s Appointed Representatives had already heard how they can be beneficiaries of a UK appointed representative network first – an online quote-and-buy facility, available to all Gauntlet ARs. All were already totting up the additional income they could accrue, thanks to this brilliant new e-trade facility, developed by Gauntlet in conjunction with Acturis.
With more reasons to be cheerful thanks to gala dinner entertainment, comedian Nick Page, all that remained was to crown the Gauntlet AR Award winners 2021. Many congratulations go to Richard Hanson of Hanson Insurance Brokers in Mirfield, Yorkshire (Best Use of Acturis Award), Dean Holloway of Holloway Insurance Services (Best Team Player), Rob Bradley of Bradley Gauntlet Insurance Services (Client Champion Award), Sam Leeder and Paul Taylor of Actus Insurance (Best Use of Marketing), Nathan Waters of Waters & Co Insurance Services (New AR of the Year), Nathan Pedley of New Era Insurance Services (Resilience Award) and the AR of the Year, Katherine Brooks, of Gauntlet Fylde Coast.
The Gauntlet for outstanding AR network performance in 2022, has certainly been thrown down.
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10th Birthday Celebrations, Harrogate, 2019
The annual Gauntlet AR conference, held at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate, saw six appointed representatives picking up much-deserved awards, recognising various qualities that help ARs succeed with their business dreams.
The afternoon event consisted of four ‘Apprentice’ style challenges – designing a logo, designing and modelling a fashion range to promote the brand, creating and taking 12 photos for a brand calendar and devising and mixing an on-brand cocktail.
The winning team, who were hired and not fired, were Andrew Stubbs of Gauntlet Stubbs, Mark Spearpoint, Harrison Law of Solihull Insurance Brokers, Rick Matthews of Touchwood insurance Brokers, Zurich’s Matt Jackson and Tom McCarthy, and Gauntlet Head Office employees, Darryll Leach, Patrick Hinchliffe and Emma Crawford.
Some Stars Are Born, Harrogate, 2018
On the back of a very successful AR Conference in 2017, we were somewhat worried about being able to deliver an equally successful event in 2018, but needn’t have been. Our ‘Commercial Break’ event not only equipped some of our ARs with key skills that businesses need in the digital age, but also provided valuable product training from our insurer sponsors, in a format beyond the norm, but one that was very focused on the unique selling points of policies and ways in which to communicate them.
‘Commercial Break’ could now be renamed ‘A Star is Born’ given the enthusiasm that our ARs put into making their own commercial videos that were all intended to advertise one of our insurer’s products.
The day was split into two parts, with Rudding Park in Harrogate being the venue for the daytime element and Cedar Court Hotel that for the evening extravaganza. The premise of the day was simple – split the group into four teams and create a TV commercial based on the brief given by the four sponsoring insurance companies, Allianz, Chubb, Hiscox and Chubb.
Another Fine Mezze, York, 2017
It’s probably not every Appointed Representative network that would give their AR away-day a Laurel and Hardy theme with a twist, entitling it ‘Another Fine Mezze’, but then we’re not any other AR network!
As our ARs will testify, this year’s AR teambuilding and peer networking event was simply heaps of fun and not a shambles, despite taking place in York – known for that particular thoroughfare. With over 40 attendees, we split our AR my of conference goers into three groups, setting each three challenges to complete during the course of the day: a Mezze cookery challenge at York Cookery School; a treasure hunt around York and a fiendish escape-room mission at GR8 Escape!
All three caused merriment, manoeuvres of the clever, considered and ‘creative’ kind, and many modes in which to mingle. There’s an ‘M’ theme here, as you may note, because, when the scores on the doors were announced, it was Gauntlet director Ian McCarron’s team that smashed it, largely thanks to picking up 10 bonus points for completing the treasure hunt in record time – some compensation for his team members who ran, rather than walking the course! How they deserved that pay out!
With plenty of opportunity to wind down over dinner at Revolution, all ARs agreed this was the best AR event yet, just leaving us with the conundrum of how to top this in 2018!
Netwalking, Yorkshire Dales, 2016
Our second Appointed Representative network event took place in September 2016 and was all about ‘netwalking’ in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Our ARs enjoyed briefings on a mountain side and were each put into different groups throughout the day, so that all could work together, bond and share their experiences, in a fun and relaxed way. Our event endorsed the view that creativity and ideas-generation is boosted when out and about in the natural environment and ARs left with many ‘nuggets’ of knowledge that could be used in their individual businesses.
Weetwood Hall, Leeds, 2015
Gauntlet’s first Appointed Representative conference took place at Weetwood Hall, Leeds, in September 2015, and gave ARs, from across the country, the opportunity to come together, learn of the latest support systems available from Gauntlet and hear of new developments from participating insurers. Above all, the mix of formal and informal networking allowed ARs to gain peer support and share best practice, demonstrating how an AR is never on their own when they are part of Gauntlet Enterprise and members of its Appointed Representative network.