Convention Trade Show Offers Answers From Every Angle

Looking for help rebranding your credit union? Or new technology to implement at your branches and ATMs? Or a few dozen free pens?

Then look no further than the trade show at the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Convention and Annual Business Meeting, where you can get all that—plus a quick game of cards.

National Insurance Protection, Inc., an insurance agency for lending institutions, played host to one of the show’s most popular booths, giving attendees to the opportunity to unwind at the blackjack table.

“We’ve been going to conferences for more than 20 years now,” said Vicky Combs, NinPro’s Vice President, noting that the casino-style setup helped keep things light while drawing a consistent crowd.

Their years of experience don’t make them take their business for granted, however, as Combs’ enthusiasm for her company’s product—and the company itself—were quickly apparent. She stressed the company’s commitment to providing cutting-edge service to credit unions large and small, and talked at length about her admiration for and commitment to the credit union movement.

And for anyone worried about the legal ramifications (or the regulatory burden?) of a blackjack table in a trade show, rest assured that no money was exchanged. Players are given five free chips per session, and the Convention attendee with the most chips by day’s end Thursday will win a complete martini set.

Spokane’s Boom Creative took a different tack, drawing a crowd with its impressive multi-media setup. According to Brad Ferguson, Boom specializes in “reality marketing,” which he described as an approach to marketing and advertising that is rooted firmly in honesty. Boom is a small boutique firm that works exclusively with credit unions nationwide, specializing in rebranding, print media, graphic and animation design, and commercials.

“I think we’re on the edge,” Ferguson said of Boom’s forward-thinking approach, “and it’s always difficult, because the good stuff is always a controversy for some.” But Boom’s commitment to doing cutting-edge work has netted positive results for credit unions like Tulip Community Credit Union and America’s Credit Union, which was formerly known as Fort Lewis Credit Union and worked with Boom to reinvent its image.

Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing for everyone at the trade show. Moonlight BPO’s entire booth and nearly all its marketing materials were lost in shipment earlier in the week, leaving Account Executive John Garcia more than a little shorthanded.

“No one can find it anywhere,” he said, pointing out that even the bowl the bowl he was using to collect business cards had been borrowed from the hotel. But evidently there is even an upside to having your entire booth lost in transition.

“All in all we’re making do, and I think we’re getting the sympathy vote,” Garcia said.

Is this a new trade show secret for Oregon-based shipping and mailing firm?

“I wish I would have thought of it!” Garcia cracked.

The trade show will be open to Convention guests from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday. More details and a live floor plan are available on the NWCUA website.

Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Marketing & Communications, MAXX Annual Convention, NWCUA.