Last Thursday, Insurance Business Canada hosted its annual awards gala in Toronto.

Yes, there was a red carpet, ball gowns, tuxes and bottles of champagne but the evening was really about celebrating innovation, service, and leadership in an industry that many people find… well, less than exciting.

There was a tremendous amount of excitement and chatter in the room – and not just by those hoping to take home a statue. People were talking about how their organizations were changing and looking at ways to adapt to the evolving needs and demands of their customers, how technology was becoming a topic of conversation outside of IT, and how digital was a term being used at all levels of the organization.

In a change from past years, the room was not filled just with carriers and large brokers – independent brokers were present and winning awards. I even had an in-depth conversation with one such broker about how Instagram was being used successfully to drive brand awareness in their organization.

Despite not coming home with a statue for the Readers Choice Award for Best Industry Service Provider (Congrats to winners and tablemates Clearpay, and thanks for letting us at least touch your statue!), the big win for me was seeing an industry celebrating how it is embracing change and moving forward.