The old adage “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is about to get turned on its head; at CUNA Technology Council Conference and CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council Conference—September 28-October 1, 2016 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas—what happens in the City of Lights will stay with you long after your flight home.
While these two events, hosted together for the second year in a row, serve two distinct groups of credit union professionals, they are united by a common theme: “Creating New Connections.” And although the “connections” in question include those you’ll make with fellow attendees, this is much more than a networking event. These conferences are also a chance to connect game-changing ideas, unconventional perspectives and rewarding opportunities.
In addition to the eye-opening keynote presentations and high-impact breakout discussion sessions, CUNA Councils has a series of creative, unconventional opportunities planned that will enable attendees to connect to new areas of the credit union movement. Here are three examples:
Connect to Philanthropy
It’s important for credit union professionals to stay tethered to the movement’s core principle of People Helping People. This year’s conferences will provide attendees with a fun opportunity to give back to children in need through a special charity raffle.
Upon arriving at the conference, you’ll be able to buy tickets for $5 a piece (or $20 for five) and enter to win a suite of great prizes. In addition to the total gross from raffle tickets, the nationwide credit union network CO-OP Financial Services has pledged to match attendees’ donations up to $10,000, making this a potentially massive charitable opportunity.
Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which funds research, training, equipment purchases and care for children at hospitals across the country. On the last day of the conferences, country singer Lindsay Ell will present a check to Children’s Miracle Network revealing the final fundraising total.
“It’s always great to use an event like this to give back to the community,” says Michelle Grabicki, CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council conference chair and VP Corporate Culture at Numerica CU. “We’ve partnered with a worthy cause, and with our attendees’ support, we have the potential to make a real impact.”
Connect to Pioneering Culture
Nestled within Vegas’ casinos, hotels and buffets is the corporate headquarters of Zappos, Amazon’s online clothing and shoes retailer with more than 1,500 employees worldwide. Regularly cited as one of the best places to work in the U.S., Zappos offers a culture model that unifies, optimizes and fully utilizes their staff—one that credit unions could benefit to emulate.
In a special pre-conference workshop on September 28th, attendees will take a tour of the Zappos campus and view an in-depth presentation on the corporate philosophy and practices that allow this multi-billion dollar company to serve millions of customers across the globe. Participants will have the opportunity to ask Zappos culture experts questions and gain insight into the daily machinations of an organization that, surprisingly enough, faces many of the same challenges as today’s credit unions.
“From time to time, we all need to step outside of our bubble and look at things from a different perspective,” notes Michelle Grabicki, CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council conference chair and VP Corporate Culture at Numerica CU. “Zappos has a nearly unequaled reputation for workplace excellence, and the prospect of witnessing their work culture in action is really exciting.”
Connect to Innovation
Returning to this year’s conferences are the ever-popular Speed Rounds, an annual competition of credit union vendors. In two sessions on September 29, top technology companies will present their latest innovations to conference attendees through live product demonstrations, but with a fun twist: entrants will only have five minutes to present their game-changing product and two minutes to answer questions from the audiences.
At the end of the presentations, one company will be chosen by audience members as Best of Show, an award won last year by SMA Solutions’ data analytics management platform Ascern.
There are countless other ways that CUNA Technology Council Conference and CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council Conference will connect you to unforgettable experiences. Ultimately, you won’t appreciate the full breadth of opportunity these conferences offer in a single article; to do that, you’ll have to join us in Las Vegas this fall.