BankTravel Conference delegates had four professional development sessions in less than three days to address valuable new business skills and banking concepts.
One: Social network marketing for banks
Two: Maximizing your program’s potential despite a tough economy
Three: Bringing baby boomers into your bank’s travel programs
Four: Kicking around lots of ideas with dozens of other bank directors about how to improve a bank’s loyalty program
That’s what attendees to the 2011 BankTravel Conference were offered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — when they weren’t meeting with travel vendors and destinations or enjoying an entertaining meal! And many agreed that these sessions were a great kickoff to a new year in their profession.
In fact, one delegate who volunteered to serve as a panelist at the conference, Suzie Glisson of Jacksonville Savings Bank in Jacksonville, Illinois, summed it up this way afterward:
“Thank you again for your efforts toward a very successful BankTravel Conference. I appreciated the opportunity to be part of the panel discussion, and as always, I returned home with my ‘batteries charged’ and a renewed enthusiasm for the work ahead! Please extend these words of appreciation to everyone involved.”
The educational program for the conference began right away as more than 120 bank delegates registered on Sunday and headed first thing into their annual breakout sessions. Two sessions were offered — one for first-time attendees and another for veterans who discussed operational issues and questions for their banks’ programs.
“These breakouts are the only time all year that these bank directors can sit together in one room and share ideas,” said BankTravel partner Mac Lacy. “The rest of the year, they are taking care of their customers. So these peer interaction sessions are very much appreciated as a rare opportunity for noncompetitive idea exchanges.”
Immediately after these two-hour sessions, Dean Lindsay, a Dallas-based speaker and trainer, shared lots of valuable information with bankers and travel industry members as well about maintaining customer loyalty in a down economy. Lindsay was an upbeat, straightforward advocate of using one’s own interpersonal skills to establish his or her bank’s competitive advantages in tough economic times.
The following morning, a full house turned out for a panel discussion led by three bank volunteers addressing how to begin the transition to boomer-aged customers for bank travel programs. Each panelist contributed insightful ideas based on their bank’s efforts to accommodate boomers’ values of independence, flexibility and personal autonomy while traveling.
That afternoon, Jesse Torres, president of Pan American Bank in Los Angeles, took center stage as the conference’s featured speaker on social marketing for banks. This is a topic that drew a wide range of responses when Torres queried the audience about how much experience they have with Facebook, Twitter and other Internet social sites. Most attendees responded that they were using Facebook personally, but far fewer had begun to use it as part of their work.
“Jesse Torres is a visionary who took his personal time away from his bank and family to be with us,” said BankTravel Conference chairman Charlie Presley. “What he is doing in Los Angeles with his bank and the Hispanic community is a model for banks across America.
“I noticed that a number of bankers remained after his session to talk with him for quite some time about his thoughts on effective social marketing programs for banks.”
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