Day 1 Review: Forum 2017 Conference, Presented by The Financial Brand

I’ve been reading The Financial Brand for years. The insights they provide are some of the best in the financial institution industry. Many companies are out there that provide data and consulting to their audience, but the Financial brand uses a forward-thinking, common sense approach to conducting business as a bank or credit union. This is a refreshing change from the monotony of some of the overcomplicated information provided in the market. As we get ramped up for the conference, here my early thoughts from Day 1 of Forum 2017.

Keynote Speaker: Ray Davis, Chairman of Umpqua Bank
Ray Davis delivered a powerful and motivational speech. I was ready to run through a brick wall and implement his message into our company as soon as he finished his twenty minute speech. A few of his highlighted statements include:

“Traditional bank marketing is dead today”
“How do we differentiate ourselves… start with what you cannot do… start over with new delivery and the customer experience”
“Customer service is not a differentiator anymore”
“Change is changing”
“Staying the same is too expensive”
“Data doesn’t dazzle me… I’m more interested in how someone feels about us”

These statements resonated with me in a profound manner. Rethinking your entire business plan and empowering your employees to implement new ideas without repercussion is your differentiator. Financial Institutions have so much data that has been severely underutilized but is a powerful tool to grow your business; however, getting people emotionally invested in your company while constantly adapting to new technology and consumer behavior is the number one goal we must strive to achieve.

The App
It’s fantastic! I downloaded it a couple of months prior to the conference, set up my profile, and BOOM! – now I am connected to all other registered attendees. The app gave me a chance to review the contact list of other attendees, their title, and their photo. Setting up profiles has allowed us to now post in the news feed. I’m enjoying getting a chance to read updates from the participants on their experience which gives me a greater sense of connectivity to my customers, prospects, and future strategy partners. Finally, small features of the app help as well: push notifications, details of exhibitors, and a list of restaurants & bars.

The Conference Guide
Just an old school method of detailing the information about the conference but since I like to make a lot of notes, it has proven to be helpful. The best part about the Conference Guide is that it provides the full list of attendees, whether they have registered on the app or not, and provides their company, first and last name, title, city and state. I bet every consultant and vendor has reviewed this list in its entirety.

Digital Banking Report
The content surrounding the surveys conducted in the financial industry around expected marketing trends is something I study very closely. The report is 78 pages of awesome intelligence for anyone in the financial industry. I’ll keep the details under wraps since this is a paid subscription.

What I am most excited about
Learning and networking… it’s that simple. Banking has changed dramatically since I started in the industry 18 years ago. During my time, we have gone from filling out paper account opening documents at the branch to a fully digital experience where a person doesn’t even have to step in the door of a branch to conduct business. Our mindset has to change through having a greater understanding of consumer behavior. We have to adopt a continuous, never-ending approach to learning, otherwise we will be left behind. I am excited about sharing experiences and knowledge with other like-minded attendees.

I hope Forum 2017 continues to live up to my expectations. So far, I’m thrilled!

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