For CUNA and NAFCU, conference attendance seems to be holding up this spring–particularly for volunteer events–despite the rise in airline fares.
That was the assessment last week as both trades said they are seeing a boost in advance registrations for volunteer conclaves, an apparent reflection of new regulatory scrutiny on director financial literacy and oversight roles.
There also was keen interest among directors in courses needed to receive certificates recognizing completion of an educational curriculum.
NAFCU, for one, said it is on track to surpass all previous attendance records for its annual Volunteers Conference May 18-20 in Savannah, Ga., with 339 registered so far. NAFCU added that registrations for the event are coming in at double the rate of last year.
"We attribute these numbers to a significantly increased focus on credit union director and committee training and professional development plus heightened awareness of NCUA’s new board fiduciary requirements," said a spokesman. He noted that attendees can earn financial literacy and supervisory committee certificates.
CUNA said it will be holding eight events in 2011 focused on volunteer education, with participants eligible also to earn certificates.
CUNA noted also it is expecting a higher turnout for America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo June 19-22 in San Antonio. That event typically draws about 1,500 to 1,600. Formal registration opened last month. CUNA said it drew just over 4,000 registrants, about 130 more than last year.
"I think strong interest in the debit interchange issue, a recognition that we needed to educate all the new freshmen in Congress about credit unions, and an improving economy all helped us with GAC attendance this year," said Mark Wolff, senior vice president of communications.