Four down, one to go.

William at BarCampBankBCI honestly have no idea what I was thinking a few months back when I agreed to speak at five conferences in two months. Today I finished my penultimate engagement, and I’m starting to feel relieved.

It was been an extraordinary honour to be able to address such a diverse set of audiences.

  • From the Internet Marketing Conference here in Vancouver focusing on general online marketing techniques and tactics
  • Organizing and promoting BarCampBankBC, which was a truly amazing, inspiring and rewarding experience
  • Traveling to Indiana for the 2008 Partnership Symposium which was an event I had been looking forward to for almost a year and was a fantastic chance to see many of my favourite CU people from across North America
  • And today I spoke here in Vancouver at the IABC Communicating Social Responsibility Conference where I got to address a room full of people dedicated to bringing integrity and values to their business models.

I have one last one to get to. Net.Finance East will take place October 28-29th in New York and will be focusing on banking innovations. I always enjoy Net.Finance conferences, as I learn so much and get to meet some amazing peers.

After Net.Finance East, I have nothing until January when I go back to New York for The Finance 2.0 Summit.

Next year, I need to be a whole lot more selective, I just can’t afford to be away from the office and my family this much.

It feels a little like the end of an era for me. I have learned a ton, met some amazing people, sparked some incredible dialogue and really found my place in the industry. If you’re reading this, it may well be because we met at one of these events. If so, shoot me a comment and say hello.

(photo credit by Brent Dixon)

Fighting poverty through saving – Vancity’s new TV ad.

Jumpstart High Interest Savings AccountLast week, when I spoke at the Partnership Symposium, I talked a little bit about Vancity’s Jumpstart High Interest Savings account.

It’s a high interest savings account (as of this writing it is paying out a very competitive 3% interest rate) that works like any other. Except for one big difference:

Vancity donates a portion of the proceeds to a not-for-profit partner who runs a program called Future Foundations, which gives a 300% savings rate to eligible people who need help paying for:

  • training or education
  • paying for a child’s education
  • starting or expanding a business
  • purchasing housing

Truly amazing stuff.

This week, we launched a slightly edgy TV ad to promote this product. Take a look and let me know what you think…

See you at Cossette Convergence.

Convergence 2008I’m excited to participate in the upcoming Cossette Convergance 2008 here in Vancouver at the Arts Club Theatre.

I’ve been asked to speak on a panel entitled Giving Your Brand Away: Brand Communities, and will be a panelist alongside Ben Stringfellow from McDonalds USA, Thierry Hay-Sabourin from Future Shop and William Bakker from Tourism British Columbia. The panel will be moderated by Angele Beausoleil from Fjord, Cossette’s online agency.

I’m honoured to be among these amazing people, and it should turn out to be a great event.

I’m very keen to hear from the keynote speaker Grant McCracken the author of Culture and Consumption.

If you’ll be there, please let me know. And if you’re thinking of attending, you can register here.

I’m off to Net.Finance.

Net.Finance 2008I leave today for Scottsdale, Arizona to attend and present at the Net.Finance conference. This will be my third year attending Net.Finance, and I always come back with some great new ideas to implement, lots of ideas to share with my peers, some new friends and colleagues from across North America and a nice time away in a sunny climate.

This year, it’s especially nice because this is an important first anniversary for me. It was a year ago when I presented at Net.Finance about ChangeEverything.ca, and my journey on the conference circuit began in full force. Presenting at conferences has become a real passion for me. I get to share knowledge, meet lots of fascinating people, attend conferences that Vancity simply doesn’t have the budget to send me to, and I get to perform in front of a crowd, which is something I truly enjoy.

This year I’m presenting on Corporate Social Responsibility As Key Differentiator, which is a fancy way of saying social marketing and social media. I’ll talk about how Vancity’s community focus takes an increasingly strong role in our advertising and marketing, how we can leverage that community work into successful use of social media, and how it positively impacts our triple bottom line.

I gave two practice sessions to my peers at Vancity on Friday, and feel ready to go on stage and present in Arizona.

And this year at Net.Finance marks another nice anniversary. It was a year ago, in April of 2007 that I changed my blog’s purpose and focus from a place to put humourous links for my friends (with a whopping subscriber base of 8 readers at the time [thanks Ruben]) to a place where I discuss social media, corporate social responsibility, online branding and banks and credit unions (and now have a subscriber base of 140 or so readers [thank you]).

It’s been profoundly rewarding, enlightening and social. I have met some great people through my blog, taken part in some amazing discussions, and have received some very useful feedback on my work. It’s something almost indescribably wonderful.

So now I head off to Arizona, with five more major conferences ahead of me this year, an excitement about my work, and some extremely exciting projects ahead.

So thanks for reading, let me know if you’ll be at Net.Finance, and I hope to break 500 connections on LinkedIn by the time I return.