Posts Tagged ‘Matt Taggart’

World 2.0 brings us to Pokagon

April 16, 2009

What is World 2.0? And why do I use this term to explain the new environment in which we live? The web, and in particular the new engagement known as social media, has fundamentally changed the way that we, as people and organizations, exist in the world. By connecting all of us together, we have a new layer of knowledge in addition to the physical world with which we are more familiar.

EverythingCU is going to hold unique event in Indiana on Friday, May 29. This event will be a success, and would not have been possible prior to World 2.0.

Personally, I have only been to Indiana a couple of times, and it was always either passing through on I-80/90, or visiting Indianapolis. I know very little about the rest of the state except that French Lick is where Larry Bird came from, and the Kiss Fan Club’s address was in Terre Haute.

Because the economy hit the skids recently, and our credit union clients were blind-sided, errrrrr assessed a heavy burden to their operating budgets in January, we decided to postpone our flagship event, the Triple-B, slated for Portsmouth NH, by one year, to October of 2010. In the meantime, I wanted to continue to bring great experiences and education to our colleagues, and knew this presented the opportunity to put into action an idea I’ve had for a while: hold smaller-scale events for our members in locations that are convenient to them.

EverythingCU’s COO, Matt Taggart, coined the term for this one-day event: Instead of the multi-day Triple-B, this one-day event is known as the Little-B.

Choosing the right location can be quite problematic for an online company with members throughout North America. My first order of business was to poll our members to find out where people are located who are interested in attending our event. I put the query out on EverythingCU. While we got responses from all parts of the US, there was a clear mandate coming from three states: Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Since these three states border each other, my next step was to take a look at Google Maps and see what lay at the intersection of them. I immediately zeroed in on a place called Pokagon State Park, in the northeast corner of Indiana. Further googling of this area showed me that there were a couple of hotels nearby, even if the nearest major city was a 45-minute drive away in Fort Wayne. Also, using Google Maps, I could tell that this location was within driving range for many people. It’s two to three hours away from several major and minor cities: Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Lansing, and slightly farther from Cleveland and Cincinnati. Other cities include: Dayton, Toledo, South Bend, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Gary, Saginaw, Battle Creek, and Essex, Ontario.

It’s not always easy to get a feel for a place simply by looking at a web site or three. So my next step was to get in touch with the people who live nearby, and I contacted a few EverythingCU site members in Fort Wayne. Not only did they confirm for me that was this indeed a great spot, but two told me that they have had great experiences at this park, and that the Potawatomi Inn in the park is a great hotel and conference space. Prior to speaking to our members, I had thought we’d have to hold the event at a hotel just outside the park, not realizing there was a great facility inside the park itself.

None of this would have been possible prior to World 2.0. There is no way that we could have had this direct contact with our membership to pull off an event in a place that we have never been to before. We have our agenda set, the invitations have been emailed and posted online, our members are signing up, and a great experience awaits us and our membership. A special thank you to Doug True, Chad Gramling and Nan Morrow who have spread the word to the Ignite Indiana group.

Now our challenge is to find another spot where this confluence of geography and member interest lies. I have several ideas and will be posting them inside the confines of EverythingCU.

Our agenda is set. We’ll be networking with each other (we’ll have many EverythingCU’ers who have never met each other in real life before), covering social media, sharpening our marketing skills with a presentation project, and sharing money-saving marketing techniques. If you are a credit union employee in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, or Ontario, I hope to see you at the 2009 Little-B Pokagon! If you have CU friends in the area, let them know!

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Bryan Sims and Brass|Media launching BrassTV

April 15, 2008

Bryan Sims is at it again, innovating at the intersection between Generation Y and Financial Institutions with BrassTV. I’m excited that EverythingCU’s Matt Taggart has booked Bryan to deliver a webinar on Generation Y for EverythingCU members on Thursday, April 24. Bryan will be telling us about reaching Generation Y, and how this generation is changing the way financial institutions need to do business. Bryan will be packing a lot of valuable and actionable information into this webinar, including what drives Gen Y’s choices, case studies of success in reaching Gen Y, and social media’s influence. I’m really looking forward to hearing the latest from Bryan!

Meet-up at GAC in DC on March 4

February 14, 2008

For anyone who is coming to CUNA’s GAC extravaganza in Washington DC from March 2 through 6, myself, Matt Taggart, and Adam Lueb will be dropping in on Tuesday evening, March 4 for a Networking meetup at Capital City Brewing Company at 8:30 pm. Ginny Brady, blogging board member of UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh NY will be there, along with Christopher Morris of the CUNA Councils. (Ginny has also created a Facebook page for GAC-goers.)

If you are going to GAC and want to meet up with fellow social media/blogger/twitter/EverythingCU-ers, either comment here, post it on the facebook event page here, or shoot me an email. Even if you are not attending GAC, if you are in the DC, VA, MD area, we’d love to meet up with you on Tuesday night for drinks.

Got beer?

December 17, 2007

This morning, the twittersphere is a-buzz with a 62-page white paper from the CUNA Marketing & Biz Dev Council entitled: A National Brand for Credit Unions: A compendium of opinions about a national brand for the credit union industry. (side note: interesting that the authors chose to call it an industry, when many insiders call it a movement.) I’ve only skimmed the report and certain sections of it, but my opinion on this hasn’t changed.

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about why I think a national CU Brand campaign is a bad idea. The movement/industry’s strength has always been its diversity. It’s never been about economies of scale. It’s about helping people in a meaningful way. CUs are definitely not charities. But their fundamental reason for being is to help regular people improve their financial lives. It’s a really exciting mission which it seems gets too often overlooked in extraneous activities. Banks DO NOT exist for this purpose. Credit unions DO exist for this purpose, and it’s amazing that we haven’t told our story better to more people who would LOVE to hear this message— IF it’s backed up in reality, and it’s not just fluffy words.

Over lunch at Elizur’s Tavern today with EverythingCU.com COO Matt Taggart, who has recently brewed some home-made beer, I had an insight– Beer is the same as Credit Unions. (Not really, but bear with me for the sake of analogy.) Is the beer industry calling for a national beer branding campaign? No. And where is the strength of the beer category? Where is the excitement and interest? Is it with the national conglomerates like Bud, Miller, and Coors? No. All of those mega-companies are watered-down pablum. They appeal to the lowest common denominator, and serious beer drinkers don’t even think about them. (Bud, Miller, and Coors represent the mega-banks in this analogy).

The REAL excitement and interest is in the microbrews. At the microbrews, people who are PASSIONATE about beer lovingly hand-craft small batches of beer, insuring quality is high. And the VARIETY of flavors is wonderful… stouts, porters, ales, wheats, and the list goes on and on. And they are LOCAL. It is this LOCAL DIVERSITY that makes beer, as a category, exciting and vibrant… have you visited a microbrewery lately? They are nearly always very interesting, with interesting people working at them. Try Magic Hat in Burlington, VT, or Utah Beers, makers of interesting flavors like Polygamy Porter. (That name is an inside joke in regards to mormonism… you won’t catch a mormon drinking that beer, but the other 50% of Utah LOVES it.)

Are microbreweries successful as businesses? You better believe it. It seems that there are a great many microbreweries that are continually growing, offering even more varieties and seasonal brews. They seem to be flourishing all over the country. And the original “microbrew”, Massachusetts’ own Sam Adams is now so large it’s not even a microbrewery anymore.

So raise a pint of your favorite local, handcrafted beer with me as I propose a toast– to the wonderful men and women, the professionals and volunteers all across the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world, who are tirelessly committed to making their credit unions great every day — professionals who are helping people of all shapes, sizes, stripes, backgrounds, and situations, improve their financial lives every day.

But that’s just what I think. I’d love to hear what you think.

Live World 2.0 workshop in Lake George NY

November 30, 2007

Myself and the EverythingCU team is getting pumped for a live, hands-on World 2.0 workshop taking place in Lake George, NY next week on Wednesday, December 5. The combined chapters of the Adirondack and Capital Regions of the NYSCUL are hosting us. We’ve instructed all the participants to BRING THEIR LAPTOPS. We’re not just going to be talking about World 2.0 and social media/networking, we’re going to be DOING IT. We’re so excited about the sites and tools we’re going to be covering. It will be an eye-opening experience for all the attendees, and will hopefully catapult their respective CUs into this new wired digital age. It’s exciting! And we’re so excited to be meeting several long-time EverythingCU members, including President Charles Folensbee of Saratoga Community CU. Walter Everhardt, VP of Marketing for First New York FCU is going to be there, along with President Linda Bourgeois, and Director of Marketing Jody Carpenter of UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh. Ginny Brady, blogging Board Member of UFirst FCU will be with us virtually via twitter, as will our own Matt Taggart and Nate Duval…. can’t wait! Dan Reynolds and Adam Lueb will be assisting me in person. If you can’t make it, please join in via twitter…. here I am on twitter.

Thank you, Spokane Federal Credit Union

July 22, 2007

Spokane Federal Credit UnionThank you, Krista Felker, Pamela Kippes, Deb Olson, and Charlotte Nemec, for hosting my webinar on Thursday. It was fantastic to re-connect, and meet such great members of EverythingCU.com. I really appreciated having an audience while I delivered my Bringing Your CU into World 2.0 webinar for you and 25 other credit union professionals all over the country. It was such a treat to be able to broadcast the webinar from Spokane Federal Credit Union’s boardroom during my Spokane week which included two days of brand consulting for United Health Services Credit Union.

Webinar at Spokane Federal Credit UnionSpecial thanks to Krista for supplying me with a lovely stand so that I could have my laptop near eye-level while delivering the presentation. Also, big thanks to Dan Reynolds for moderating the webinar so nicely from the EverythingCU.com homefront in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Also in attendance from Holyoke were Matt Taggart and Adam Lueb, giving shout outs to all of our credit union friends.

Afterwards, Krista, Pam, and Deb were gracious enough to select and accompany me to a fantastic little restaurant called Downriver Grill for lunch. The chicken taco salad really hit the spot!

Branding tour rolls through Pennsylvania

March 9, 2006

What a fantastic day! I gave a talk on branding to the Eastern Region Marketing Council of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association in Harrisburg. And what a gorgeous spot Harrisburg is. The Association has its headquarters right on the Susquehanna River — a truly beautiful river. Normally 30-35 folks attend a marketing council meeting, but our topic was of such great interest, that we had 61 seats filled! It was an interesting set-up… the room was very long, so in addition to a giant projection screen at the front of the room, there were two new very large TV screens at the half way point of the room…. all I needed was my guitar and amp, and I was ready to rock and roll the audience!

But seriously, it was great to meet so many of our site members, and meet so many new friends. About half the folks were already members of EverythingCU.com. The PA Association was very happy to see some folks who hadn’t ever attended a marketing meeting before, including Mike Brennan from Boeing Helicopters Credit Union. My presentation was well received, and Lori Killgore from Lehigh Valley Educators CU was so moved that she’s bringing me to Allentown to present our branding process to senior management on April 11.

Matt gave a fantastic presentation on on-brand service, chock full of terrific insights. His down-to-earth style won over many of the attendees, and he had great chats with many of our Pennsylvanian friends before, during, and after the presentation.

It was really wonderful to meet so many of our frequent and long-term site members, especially Leigh-Ann Powers from Lanco CU, Nina Waskevich from Tobyhanna Army Depot FCU, and Rita Greenawalt from Heritage Valley FCU.

We met Jaymie Loomis from CTCE FCU, who sent regrets from Trish Shermot who couldn’t make it to the meeting.

And Matt got a photo with Liz Sprecher from Bellco FCU who hopped a ride with Jaymie to come to this event all the way from the northeast part of Pennsylvania. We’re so honored and flattered that so many folks made such a long drive to come see us! We’ll have to do it again soon! I can’t wait!