First, I must congratulate the Royal Media Group: JJ Hornblass and his dynamic team have done a tremendous job! It is particulary impressive as it was their first online banking event.
I have attended a lot of conferences in various countries, on various topics, and as far as I remember, it is the first time there was such a consensus from the delegates: they all found the sessions very valuable, and they agreed the format worked extremely well.Most sessions were organized in panels of three or four experts: during the sessions, someone from Royal Media Group came to collect the questions from the audience. Then, the moderator asked most of those questions to the panel.
The discussions were relaxed, and very valuable as the speakers got on extremely well together. They shared not only their thoughts but also their own experiences, good or bad.The presentations were very interesting and contained a lot of useful facts and figures. My congratulations to:
* Robin Nakamura, Senior VP, eBusiness, First National Bank
* Theo Moumtzidis, Managing VP, First Manhattan Consulting Group
My Top 5 speakers
All the speakers were chosen carefully, and I liked them all. They were enthusiatic, and they knew how to share their experience with an audience.
Nevertheless, I would like to share my Top 5 speakers with you.
* Bruce Hobbs, Fifth Third Bank: according to me, Bruce has to be the top speaker. He did a great job on stage, and shared a lot of information about his success but also his shortcomings. He made a very valuable contribution. Moreover, I had the chance to have dinner with him twice this week. Bruce is a great guy, extremely knowledgeable, and he has worked on many projects all over the world.
* Alan Lyon, Wachovia Corp.: a bit like Bruce, Alan shared a lot of information on stage. Both were part of the same panel, and I found the interaction between them perfect during their discussion on “Overcoming Internal & Technology Challenges”. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure to talk to Alan…
* Drew Sievers, mFoundry: Drew has an extensive experience in mobile banking, not only in the US but he and his company are also working on many international projects in countries such as India or Japan. Drew was capable of addressing many topics and issues from the banks, the telcos and the regulatory angles. He is a very good speaker, very knowledgeable, and he successfully uses a good mix of specific examples and good jokes.
* Theo Moumtzidis, First Manhattan Consulting Group: Theo is an excellent consultant. He shared a new presentation about the impact of Online Banking in Retail Banking. Theo demonstrated a great knowledge of the industry, shared a lot of valuable info and facts about the current and future trends in Retail Banking, and he is an excellent speaker who uses the right jokes (or pictures ;-)) at the right time. His presentation, the last of the day, was very entertaining.
* Rob Klapper, Prosper.com: Rob and I were participating to the same panel on web 2.0. Rob is a great guy, and even though he joined Prosper.com (a really exciting company, in an exciting space!) only 3 months ago, Rob showed a lot of enthusiasm and passion for Peer-to-Peer and their Social Lending market place!
You can find all the biographies of the speakers here.
Our session on web 2.0 and Peer-to-Peer
I was really thrilled and honored to be the only speaker who came from Europe.
I believe the attendees showed interest in our session: web 2.0 is mainly a marketing name, and people are still a bit confused and don’t know if banks should use “technologies” such as social networking, blogging, RSS, Podcasts, Videos…
The main fear is about brand damage. Fortunately, we still see some promising web 2.0 initiatives from banks such as Wells Fargo and its blogs, or Fortis Bank and its new social network for entrepreneurs,Join2Grow.
The key messages from Vince, Ed, Rob and myself were:
* web 2.0 is all about giving the power & more control to the people
* it has an impact on people’s expectations: they express themselves, and they expect companies to listen and show they care
* complaints are good, they give you the opportunity to win a faithful base of clients
* before using one/several of those technologies, think carafully about your goals
* you need to create value to the members of your community, you need to engage them and urge them to contribute
Excellent networking opportunity
Everybody was impressed not only by the quality of the speakers, but also by the attendees. Because of its size (around 100 people), this conference was one of my very best networking experiences. I met a lot of very knowledgeable, approchable and friendly people. They all came to the conference not only to get something out of it, but also to share their experience.
In two days, I have met people from the following companies:
1st Bank, Aite, AnchorBank, Banco Popular, Bank of America, Bharosa, BillHighway.com, Capstrat, CheckFree, Cibernet, ClairMail, DataQuick, Edgar Dunn & Company, E-Loan, EquiFirst, Fifth Third Bank, First American Title Insurance Company, First Manhattan Consulting Group,First National Bank, iGobanking.com, Keane, MarkMonitor, Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (M&I), Medianet, Mellon, mFoundry, PayStream, Prosper,RBC Centura, RSA Security, Scarborough Research, Secora, Silanis, Spectrum Message, Stax, the Royal Media Group, TowerGroup, United Commercial Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Wescom Resources Group.
They came mainly from the US, but also from Canada and Puerto Rico.
a few pictures
JJ, I will definitely recommend your conference and it would be a pleasure to be invited to speak next year. Keep up the good work!
… and you should think of organizing the equivalent in Europe too!