Photos from Net.Finance

Here are some photos from my trip to Arizona for Net.Finance.

The view from my hotel room at Net.Finance. The Camelback Inn was extremely nice, which is what you’d hope at the prices they charged.

A panel discussion with (from L to R) Chris Larsen from prosper.com, Mickey Mencin from Key Bank, Shari Storm from Verity Credit Union and Gabriel Dalporto from zecco.com.

Colin Henderson from The Bankwatch presenting. Colin painted a great picture of the landscape of what web 2.0 is doing for those FIs brave enough to embrace it.

My presentation. I think I was very well received, and am very pleased with how it went.

A group of us out for dinner on the second night of the conference. Having great Mexican food was one of my goals, which I definitely met.

Ned with cacti. Ned Georgy, a colleague from Vancity and a good friend, and I stuck around Arizona for an extra day and visited the Desert Botanical Gardens, which was fantastic!

Net.Finance Day Four – the big day!

Today was unequivocally the best day of the conference, and I’m not just saying that because my presentation went so darn well.

I got to hear how prosper.com works straight from the CEO, Chris Larsen. This would be such a great business for Vancity to get into. I could see it as a separate spin off with its own discreet P&L. I’d be happy to run it, by the way, in case anyone in the C-Suite is reading this.

My new favourite colleague Shari Storm was fantastic. So much of the specificity of last year, the relevance, the results, the strategies that have been missing this year were there in force as Shari described why they started blogging, how they keep it going and what they get out of it. Great job Shari.

I was third up, and I’ll let others describe how it went, but I’m really pleased and proud. I got a lot of great feedback and I know I had the full attention of the room. I couldn’t get a break because so many people wanted to ask me questions.

Next up was Mickey Mencin from Key Bank, who spoke about podcasting. Last year I was really inspired listening to Mickey in a panel discussion and this year she had a whole presentation about what she’s up to at Key. It’s interesting to hear from the FIs who are willing to invest a little discretionary spending into innovative projects that don’t have to rigidly prove their ROI. As Michael Seaton said so perfectly, “What’s the ROI of a business lunch or a golf trip with a client.” Sometimes you gotta have a little pocket money to try out new things.

I also enjoyed hearing from zecco.com CMO Gabriel Dalporto. Between them and propser.com I feel like I learned about business models that decentralized heavily centralized industries. People looking to start starfish organizations to attack the big bank spiders.

But my highlight of the day was hearing Colin Henderson. First off, he’s a hell of a nice guy, and he’s just so knowledgeable about this space. Great to finally put a face to a name, both for him and Jim Bruene, who should have been a speaker for sure.

Last year it was all about the amazing presentations, but I didn’t meet a whole lot of people. This year it was all about the networking. Meeting people from across Canada and into the States who are doing interesting and innovative things.

Okay, I’m done. Ned and I are going to spend an extra day down here relaxing and seeing some sights. Let the vacation start…

Net.Finance Day One

It was a good kickoff today at Net.Finance. This was the Customer Acquisition and Cross Selling Summit, an optional first day to the conference. I gotta say, so far it doesn’t seem quite as strong as last year, but some great highlights.

It’s a tad early to say, but people seem to be buzzing about social media. There have been a few questions from the crowd, some comments in presentations about blogging, YouTube, Facebook, social networking, etc…

Emily Edwards, SVP of Online Sales Marketing at Bank of America was talking about Bank of America’s plans in the social media space, and she asked of her company “How do we start to give up control without giving up complete control?” I thought it was great to hear a big bank talk like that. People seem to get the new world of marketing where companies don’t control the message, and have to operate with a greater level of transparency to increase trust among the network of people who are talking about your company and brand online.

It’s nice to reconnect with some great people I met last year and meet some new folks, including Shari Storm from Verity Credit Union in my old stomping ground of Seattle. Also nice to meet some Canadians who make up a sizable group here, including Michael Seaton from Scotiabank, who was recently in a panel in Toronto with Rob Cottingham from Social Signal.

Looking forward to tomorrow, and hopefully meeting Colin Henderson.

I am excited to give my presentation. I think it will create some good dialogue, because it’s so far removed from anything anyone else is doing.

I discovered today that I can’t do math. This whole time I thought I had 45 minutes, but if I had added the minutes on the schedule together, I only have 35 minutes. Ugh. I’ll move fast and hope we have some time for discussion. I really don’t want to cut anything out, I feel it’s a strong presentation as-is.