Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Thank you DC! You’ve been real!

March 6, 2008

Thirsty?Wow, what a great turnout at the TwittaBloggerSocial Meetup in DC on Tuesday night. Adam and I had dinner with Ginny Brady, Liz Woodard, and Jody Carpenter of UFirst FCU located in Plattsburgh NY ahead of the main meetup. Then 8:30 rolled around and we connected with Bryan Sims of Brass|CU located in Corvallis OR, and I met his Sales Manager Tim. Then we were joined by Jeff Hardin, Communications Director for the North Carolina CU League and Christopher Morris, Web Manager for the CUNA Councils, HQ’d in Madison, WI. Then Brent Dixon of Trabian, located in Dallas stopped in. Later we were joined by his brother Paul who now lives in San Fran. Then we were also joined by Rob Rutkowski of Current Issues in Credit Unions podcast fame, who was there with his brother, Tom. I also said hi to Mark Meyer of the Filene Research Institute who was grabbing a bite to eat with Bryan Sims earlier in the evening.

Conversations covered a wide range including Batman movies, the usefulness/uselessness of twitter, general impressions of the conference so far, and enjoying DC. Later the party moved across the block to the Renaissance Hotel. Brent, Paul, Adam and I decided to take a cab rather than having the downpour soak us. It was a very good call.

Twitter Group 1Photos are on Facebook and Flickr. I am still awaiting the group photo from Ginny Brady. My favorite part of the meet up: I just couldn’t get over sitting at the same table with Ginny, Jeff, Christopher, Brent, and Rob, who blog and/or twitter from NY, NC, WI, TX, and OH respectively. What was your favorite thing about it?

Advertisements

Something positive always comes out of conferences

March 4, 2008

Washington DC's ChinatownOkay, I will admit it. Adam Lueb and I are crashing CUNA GAC 2008. We are not invited. We are not official conference goers. We are not exhibitors. But we love our CU peeps so much we made the trek down just to hang with them. When you are a small company, such as we are, it is a risk to come all this way, take time out of two employees busy schedules, and pay for meals, transportation, lodging, etc. So is it worth it?

The answer is a resounding yes. I’ve found that nearly always something positive happens when you do any or all of the following: break your normal patterns, go visit your peeps, understand your customers’ world better, facilitate getting smart people together, make new connections, and/or reinforce existing connections.

Over on OpenSourceCU, some are questioning the ROI of attending a BarCampBank. I have no response to that, other than, if you can’t see the value in meeting smart, creative, passionate people who are willing to learn and share what they know about the leading edge of the industry, then you definitely should not attend.

Tonight, Adam and I hooked up with Robbie Wright of MaPS Credit Union in Salem, Oregon. Last July, Robbie invited me to attend BarCampBank Seattle just a few days before it was about to occur. By chance, I was in Spokane at the time consulting with a CU there, instead of at my usual home base in Western Massachusetts. I had never heard of a BarCamp nor BarCampBank, and after checking out the wiki page for it, didn’t want to rearrange my schedule to hop over to Seattle for the weekend rather than return home to my son whom I hadn’t seen in many days. While I love my son dearly, I am still kicking myself that I did not attend that first BarCampBank in the U.S. when I had the opportunity.

Returning to the present, at Adam’s suggestion, we headed over to Washington DC’s Chinatown for Tony Cheng’s Mongolian Barbecue earlier this evening. While enjoying the fabulous dinner, Adam and Rob got to talking tech stuff. It turns out that Rob faces the same challenge we do in wrangling the NCUA 5300 data on all 8000+ CUs in the U.S. into shape every quarter when it is published. Rob asked Adam if he would be interested if his CUSO developed a way by which we could import it in the blink of an eye, andweimmediatelyansweredYES. So now Rob has direct feedback of the usefulness of a potential product, and we now have a potential source for a process that sidetracks us from more relevant work for a significant amount of time each year. This conversation would not have occured had I not invited Adam to come to DC with me.

As an additional bonus, we discussed briefly the online switch kit that EverythingCU offers to make it easy for a member to switch their previous financial institution to the credit union, and realized that MaPS CU is not offering it to their members. Talking with Rob has reminded me who the person at his CU would be the one to evaluate the product, I’ve sent her an email about it.

This trip is already worth it, and we’ve only connected with one person so far and haven’t even gotten to the main event; the reason why we’re here, the TwittaBloggerSocial MeetUp.

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.