Wednesday, October 5, 2011

California Bankers Association Goes Hands On

NOTICE:  This post is a little off-track as it does not relate entirely to social media but relates generally to technology.  The next post will return us to our regularly scheduled programming.

If you're a banker chances are you've attended a conference or seminar hosted by a state banking association. As a long-time banker I've been to so many of these events that they have all started to look and sound the same. So when I received an email for the California Bankers Association Technology and Community Banking Conference I was pleasantly surprised.

According to the marketing materials, "this session will be unlike our prior seminars, in that to help get you more comfortable with these new technologies you will have a chance to try all of them out! Our goal is to allow you at least as much 'hands on' time to use the products as to just hear about them."

What a great idea!

As new technologies evolve and as more and more options fill the technology landscape, having these types of hands-on opportunities provides real value to conference goers.  One job of staff attending conferences is to report back to executive management about trends in the industry and the tools that benefit the organization.  Too many times all we have are Powerpoint presentations containing screen shots.

As an experienced conference speaker I understand the risks of letting the technology loose on the conference room floor.  If there was ever a call for gremlins, this is it.  But that is exactly why I commend the California Bankers Association for taking a risk and requiring their presenters and vendors to let the attendees "test drive" their wares.  At the end of the day, the money and time will be much better spent if  bankers get a chance to play around with the technology and decide for themselves whether the product is the real deal or just good marketing.

Kudos to the California Bankers Association for taking the risk and providing a meaningful experience to the attendees.  This should go a long way in engaging attendees and should earn the California Bankers Association some positive buzz.


  1. Good for them, but how sad that we have to think of letting people have a hands-on experience as risky. In reality, not letting people test drive new technologies and experience the benefits themselves is a riskier design for a learning experience.

  2. That's a good point. If you think about it, letting users "play" with the product is the best way to sell it.