What is World 2.0? And why do I use this term to explain the new environment in which we live? The web, and in particular the new engagement known as social media, has fundamentally changed the way that we, as people and organizations, exist in the world. By connecting all of us together, we have a new layer of knowledge in addition to the physical world with which we are more familiar.
EverythingCU is going to hold unique event in Indiana on Friday, May 29. This event will be a success, and would not have been possible prior to World 2.0.
Personally, I have only been to Indiana a couple of times, and it was always either passing through on I-80/90, or visiting Indianapolis. I know very little about the rest of the state except that French Lick is where Larry Bird came from, and the Kiss Fan Club’s address was in Terre Haute.
Because the economy hit the skids recently, and our credit union clients were blind-sided, errrrrr assessed a heavy burden to their operating budgets in January, we decided to postpone our flagship event, the Triple-B, slated for Portsmouth NH, by one year, to October of 2010. In the meantime, I wanted to continue to bring great experiences and education to our colleagues, and knew this presented the opportunity to put into action an idea I’ve had for a while: hold smaller-scale events for our members in locations that are convenient to them.
EverythingCU’s COO, Matt Taggart, coined the term for this one-day event: Instead of the multi-day Triple-B, this one-day event is known as the Little-B.
Choosing the right location can be quite problematic for an online company with members throughout North America. My first order of business was to poll our members to find out where people are located who are interested in attending our event. I put the query out on EverythingCU. While we got responses from all parts of the US, there was a clear mandate coming from three states: Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Since these three states border each other, my next step was to take a look at Google Maps and see what lay at the intersection of them. I immediately zeroed in on a place called Pokagon State Park, in the northeast corner of Indiana. Further googling of this area showed me that there were a couple of hotels nearby, even if the nearest major city was a 45-minute drive away in Fort Wayne. Also, using Google Maps, I could tell that this location was within driving range for many people. It’s two to three hours away from several major and minor cities: Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Lansing, and slightly farther from Cleveland and Cincinnati. Other cities include: Dayton, Toledo, South Bend, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Gary, Saginaw, Battle Creek, and Essex, Ontario.
It’s not always easy to get a feel for a place simply by looking at a web site or three. So my next step was to get in touch with the people who live nearby, and I contacted a few EverythingCU site members in Fort Wayne. Not only did they confirm for me that was this indeed a great spot, but two told me that they have had great experiences at this park, and that the Potawatomi Inn in the park is a great hotel and conference space. Prior to speaking to our members, I had thought we’d have to hold the event at a hotel just outside the park, not realizing there was a great facility inside the park itself.
None of this would have been possible prior to World 2.0. There is no way that we could have had this direct contact with our membership to pull off an event in a place that we have never been to before. We have our agenda set, the invitations have been emailed and posted online, our members are signing up, and a great experience awaits us and our membership. A special thank you to Doug True, Chad Gramling and Nan Morrow who have spread the word to the Ignite Indiana group.
Now our challenge is to find another spot where this confluence of geography and member interest lies. I have several ideas and will be posting them inside the confines of EverythingCU.
Our agenda is set. We’ll be networking with each other (we’ll have many EverythingCU’ers who have never met each other in real life before), covering social media, sharpening our marketing skills with a presentation project, and sharing money-saving marketing techniques. If you are a credit union employee in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, or Ontario, I hope to see you at the 2009 Little-B Pokagon! If you have CU friends in the area, let them know!