2011 tradeshow another feather in MWAA's cap
#dcf_The Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort in Oak Brook, Ill., was the setting for the ninth annual Midwest Acquirers Association's regional tradeshow. In an idyllic environment just west of Chicago, over 530 attendees were able to rethink their strategies, reinvent business goals and renew their energy in preparation for moving their businesses forward.
On Tues., July 26, those arriving early (and brave enough to defy the heat and humidity) teed off at the Willow Crest Golf Club, courtesy of SecurityMetrics. The rest of the evening was open for socializing and networking. Sponsors of the tradeshow were invited to a cocktail reception and dinner.
Wednesday began with the Field Guide Seminar put on by Field Guide Enterprises LLC. These one-day seminars have become well known at the regional shows. Mark Dunn, President of Field Guide Enterprises and MWAA Treasurer, always manages to assemble a dynamic group of industry leaders to address current industry topics and sales strategies.
After the seminar, Michael McNamara, Vice President MasterCard Spending Pulse at MasterCard Worldwide, delivered the keynote address. He was able to provide insight into the online shopping habits of consumers. Next the MWAA presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dan Neistadt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Merchant Systems Inc. The evening wrapped up with the opening reception with vendors.
The last day of the conference was certainly not the least. Thursday began with a breakfast to fuel attendees before they began the day's educational journey. Sessions included a presentation by the Electronic Transactions Association about its new Certified Payments Professional Program. (For details about the program, see "ETA to launch certification program," The Green Sheet, March 14, 2011, issue 11:03:01 and visit the ETA website, www.electran.org.)
There were also lively panels on mobile payments and bankcard regulations in a post Durbin Amendment era. The final session of the day was a panel known as the "Shark Tank." The event concluded with another reception with vendors.
"This was, by all accounts, the best MWAA show ever," Dunn told The Green Sheet at the event's close. "We had the highest total attendance in four years; a full house of exhibitors; and a lot of fun with the Field Guide Seminar, the Shark Tank Innovation presentations, the SecurityMetrics golf outing and the great passport give-away.
"We learned about the growing market for mobile transactions and the changing regulatory environment. We're very pleased with the response of our attendees. The show was very successful. The MWAA board and advisory board work together as a great team. We're already working on keeping the fun going next year for 2012."
For those interested in attending next year's event Dunn advised, "Next year will be MWAA's 10th anniversary, so we're planning a special show that will run from Tuesday through Thursday, July 17 to 19, 2012, at the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Michigan Avenue. We're planning a Roaring 20's Chicago theme party and several other special events.
"We expect MWAA 2012 to be a once-in-a-decade kind of conference. Sponsors can lock in the best spots on the exhibit hall floor now at 2011 rates. They only need to contact MWAA now to get started."
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