Setting the Stage at My First Young Brokers Conference

Sarah Montalba, Administration Coordinator, IBAO

This year, I was given the opportunity to attend the Young Brokers Conference alongside our Marketing team. I didn’t quite know what to expect, since our YBC Conference operates on a much smaller scale compared to our annual Convention. I’d presumed that because of the event’s size, the conference might pale in comparison. But the marketing, logistics, preparation and work that go into a conference—regardless of scale—are equally met. 

After a complex set-up, I was assigned to check people in and hand out name badges. The conference kicked off with an opening night party sponsored by Travelers. The atmosphere in the room set the tone for the event—this first YBC event was a terrific showcase of the young brokers emerging in Ontario. 

The next morning I settled in for a keynote delivered by Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan, a sports psychologist and performance consultant, who spoke about high performance. Her insights were like a symphony of inspiration, hitting all the right notes—notes I diligently jotted down using our IBAO swag. She highlighted several key takeaways that resonated with me:

Mindset: The True Game Changer – Dr. Amirault-Ryan underscored the pivotal role of a robust and resilient mindset in achieving peak performance. Her work with athletes revolves around cultivating mental strategies that empower them to conquer challenges, handle stress and sustain unwavering focus.

The Power of Process – Instead of fixating on end results, she encourages athletes to direct their attention towards the controllable elements of performance. By embracing this process-oriented approach, athletes can stay grounded in the present moment, thereby unlocking their true potential.

Harnessing Self-Talk for Triumph – She emphasizes the immense influence of self-dialogue on performance. By crafting positive and constructive self-talk that promotes self-belief and resilience, you can pave your way to success.

Thriving Under Pressure – She dismantles the notion of pressure as a negative focus. Instead, she urges athletes to view it as a catalyst for extraordinary performance. This shift in perspective converts pressure into an opportunity for excellence, allowing athletes to channel their energy towards outstanding achievement.

Feedback Loop: Elevating Excellence – Constructive feedback and reflections are fundamental for growth. Dr. Amirault-Ryan equips athletes with the tools to objectively review their performance and make the necessary tweaks for future triumph.

As the conference segued into roundtable workshops, I retreated to streamline the check-in process for the upcoming tradeshow. I gathered the necessary resources to set-up a check-in desk. While I couldn’t help but feel a pang of disappointment for missing out on BIP Talks where our own Marketing Lead shared insights about lessons he learned from the world of stand-up comedy, I couldn’t have been more excited to learn that his presentation was so well-received.

Event attendees flocked to the Fallsview Casino to our tradeshow. The room buzzed with activity, with over 40 exhibitors looking to connect with young brokers. After a few hours, word spread about the traditional, unofficial afterparty at an outdoor Karaoke Bar. As the tradeshow wrapped up, we efficiently tore-down, leaving with only half of what we’d arrived with. By then, we’d reached the 14th hour of the conference—I contemplated if I had the energy to embark on tradition, but the FOMO was real.

I’m glad I attended. It was an impressive showcase of showmanship and active participation. For me, the true star of the evening was our very own Education Lead, Simon. His rendition of Linkin Park’s, I Tried So Hard, was a showstopper. This marked another IBAO tradition: sending one team member to perform a song every year. As tradition dictates, I’m now in line for the 19th annual YBC Conference next year.

The conference’s final morning felt brief by comparison, featuring a kick-off, a senior leader’s panel discussion with industry leaders and closing remarks from our CEO. After final tear down, our team gathered to celebrate what felt like an immensely successful conference. 

YBC exceeded expectations, demonstrating that greatness isn’t limited by size, but dedication and purpose. This experience reaffirmed the power of quality interactions and the impact of a resilient mindset. With the next YBC Conference on the horizon, I’m excited to see how tradition will be kept and engagement grows.

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