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ARLINGTON, Texas – In a bold break from protocol, the Texas Credit Union League joined with the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and PULSE EFT Association to stage a combined industry showcase for financial services technology here November 28-30. And TechMecca 2001 organizers were thrilled with the results. “Who would have ever thought you’d have banks and credit unions in the same room?” Chris Williston, IBAT CEO, asked the opening general session crowd. Williston, Texas Credit Union League CEO Dick Ensweiler, and Pulse EFT Association CEO Stan Paur, took the stage together to welcome showcase attendees. Although actual attendance was hampered by icy road conditions, combined exhibitor and attendee registrations neared 1,700, representing 600 institutions in 38 states, according to Williston. TechMecca 2001 was the brainchild of Williston, Ensweiler and Paur who see each other regularly at Pulse board meetings. Their three associations, which collectively represent more than 2,300 credit unions, banks, and savings institutions, could more effectively entice vendors and also realize economies of scale by combining resources, they reasoned. The strategy was successful. MasterCard International signed on as signature sponsor and the event drew approximately 200 exhibitors. General session keynote speakers were top-notch, and training was conducted along four educational tracks: security/privacy considerations, delivery channels, operational/technology issues and products your customers will want. So what was it like with credit union professionals sitting next to bankers in breakout sessions? “I felt like bankers were curious and a little surprised that credit unions were as technologically prepared as they were,” one observer noted. “Socially, credit union professionals tended to talk with other credit union professionals and bankers tended to talk with other bankers. Vendors, of course, had to cross the wall and talk with both.” Emily Hine, TCUL vice president/credit union development, and a member of the TechMecca planning team, said showcase evaluations are very positive. “We are excited about our results. I have a big stack of forms from exhibitors wanting to participate in TechMecca 2002. One of them says, `It was a mega-hit. I’m so happy with the quality of leads we received. Sign me up for next year.’ And one attendee writes, `Great value for the money.’ We will make some slight format changes next year, but overall we think we put together a very good program,” Hine said. Regarding the mingling of credit union and bank personnel under one roof, Emily said, “I spoke with a CEO from a bank in Amarillo who said they are thrilled to work with credit unions. They want credit unions to focus on consumer accounts, so they can spend more time on commercial accounts.” All three associations are committed to the shared trade show concept. Both IBAT and Pulse have replaced their individual association trade shows with TechMecca. TCUL will continue to hold a trade show in conjunction with its Annual Meeting and Convention but will require technology vendors to exhibit at TechMecca if they want to exhibit at the Annual Meeting. TechMecca 2002 is already scheduled for December 4-6 in Austin. [email protected]

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