Cool weather and the beautiful New England backdrop greeted all who attended the Northeast Acquirers Association's summer meeting in Providence, R.I., June 12 through 14.
The Westin Providence hotel bustled with activity as vendors prepared booths for the exhibit hall. The opening cocktail reception, sponsored by North American Bancard Inc., gave attendees who weren't hampered by weather delays some relaxed time to mingle, network and enjoy a bit of food.
The reception was followed by the popular United Bank Card Inc. charity Texas Hold 'Em tournament.
The next day, two morning sessions were sponsored by the National Association of Payment Professionals.
The first presentation, "Marketing 101," was given by Nancy Drexler, owner of Marketing Moguls, and presented some do's and don'ts in advertising. The next session featured Tony Vartanian, President of Cordsel Technologies. He spoke about maximizing profits and Web site leads.
The break that followed provided attendees time to peruse the exhibit hall, meet new vendors and renew relationships with seasoned vendors _ all while eating a buffet lunch.
The afternoon sessions were jampacked with information. Greg Cohen of Moneris Solutions Inc. discussed ISOs shifting from independent agents to direct sales. Sid Kotwal of American Express Co. presented new opportunities in the health care industry.
Mike Petitti of AmbironTrustWave delved into a topic that should be of interest to all: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance. Next up, Melissa Jones of Planet Payment explained a relatively new offering: multicurrency processing.
The sessions ended with a look at the state of the industry by Donna Embry of Payment Alliance International Inc. She touched on legislation currently facing our industry and some of the most recent security breaches.
She also discussed possible future trends. (Keep your eyes on wireless and prepaid developments.)
The next morning, the association held its annual golf tournament at the Richmond Country Club. For those not wanting to swing clubs on the green, breakfast was provided in the hotel restaurant.
If you haven't been to an acquirers show, make time to attend at least one regional meeting soon. The costs are minimal, and the opportunities are endless.
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