<p>WASHINGTON – CUNA has a new system for awarding exhibit hall space for its popular GAC set to open Feb. 24 that has left some long-time vendor supporters without a booth for this year’s GAC. “We’ve supported the GAC for 10 years and now they’re telling us because they want to get more new vendors to participate, we can’t,” said Robin Jones, director of marketing for CRI. According to John Hollander, director of business development for CUNA, with the new system vendors can essentially build up points to ensure a GAC spot by participating in CUNA’s Virtual Trade Show, advertising in Credit Union Magazine, and attending more of CUNA’s conferences throughout the year. Hollander said a letter went out in November alerting vendors to the new changes. Jones questioned the timing of the new program. “They told us a little late. If we would have known about the new system earlier we could have budgeted differently,” said Jones. Hollander said there may have been an earlier communication, but he couldn’t confirm that. Will this new program get Jones to do more with CUNA? Jones said probably not, and she’s looking at beefing up CRI’s presence at NAFCU trade shows. Hollander said some vendors only deal with CUNA once a year by attending the GAC, but do little else. He says CUNA wants to support vendors who do more with CUNA. He also said CUNA is making an effort to get some new vendors into the hall this year. “We didn’t think it was fair to grandfather them in forever, and turn away some of the new rising stars,” said Hollander.</p>

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