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Eleven things I loved about the Alliance’s Annual Meeting…

October 3, 2011
  1. Getting put on the spot – along with a few member society executives – as Frank Luntz challenged us to explain (in seven seconds!) who we are and what we do in a way that’s relevant to consumers…
  2. The incredibly positive demographic information presented by Joe Coughlin that verified fraternals have a very large sweet spot with millions of potential members who want what we have to offer…
  3. The fact that almost one-fifth of the audience were “first-time” attendees – a great indicator that the meeting program resonated with individuals from all sectors of the fraternal industry…
  4. The fact that more than 90% of attendees rated the overall meeting as “excellent” or “very good”…
  5. The enlightening news about the power and influence of women when it comes to purchasing financial services and, even more critical, the appeal of fraternals to this increasingly important segment of the market…
  6. Workshop sessions full of members furiously taking notes on the results of the Alliance’s recent consumer research project and discussing ways to put this information to use in their marketing efforts…
  7. The “real-world” examples of collaboration between societies – in areas such as commercial banking, asset management, IT platform development, private label product development – and the willingness of members to do more than talk about further cooperative programs…
  8. 60+ member society executives willingly giving their time to spruce up three local Salvation Army facilities during the Thursday community service project…
  9. The support for the fraternal system from our Associate Members and sponsors – we could not have conducted such a successful event without you…
  10.  The subtle humor of Father Gawronski’s homily at the Saturday afternoon Mass: “God asked Abraham to sacrifice his 12-year-old son because if He had waited another year it wouldn’t have been much of a sacrifice...”
  11. The not-so-subtle humor of Installation Banquet emcee Buzz Sutherland and his two partners, “Puddin” and “Cupcake” (you had to see it to believe it)…
We’re compiling the results of your on-site evaluations now, and I’ll share the feedback we received from attendees in future posts. The PowerPoint presentations from many of the Annual Meeting speakers will be posted to the Alliance Web site later this week. I’m going to take a “blog break” for the better part of the next two weeks as I head out for vacation on Gilligan’s Island – no phone, no light, no BlackBerry. In the meantime, I invite you to share your comments on the Annual meeting – both what you liked about it and ideas to make next year’s meeting (September 13-15, 2012, in New Orleans) even better. Don’t be shy, now…