I read with interest the remarks made in the Oct. 22, 2007, issue of The Green Sheet ("Street SmartsSM - Next stop: Tradeshows") which suggested that ETA's Annual Meeting & Expo is "geared more toward ISOs and processors" and may not be of value to merchant level sales professionals.
While it is true that ETA's core constituency is the independent sales organization, our members represent every facet of the merchant acquiring industry.
We work hard to ensure that our annual meeting remains the largest, most dynamic and inclusive forum for business networking for everyone involved in the electronic payments business - including the MLS community.
In fact, much of the educational programming at this event is geared directly to the interest of those involved in direct sales - e.g., sessions on merchant retention strategies, emerging markets, sales best practices, and industry trends like free terminals, etc.
And, the event's reputation for fostering competitive but cooperative business development opportunities is unparalleled in the industry.
Our success in making the ETA Annual Meeting a welcome place for all is evidenced by its more than 3,000 attendees each year, many of whom are part of the MLS constituency.
We invite all Green Sheet readers to participate in this premiere industry event and to explore further the benefits of affiliation with the Electronic Transactions Association.
Speaking of benefits, in the coming weeks ETA will begin regular editorial contributions to The Green Sheet focused on key legislative and regulatory issues of importance to everyone in the payments community - we look forward to serving you.
Carla Balakgie, CAE
Electronic Transactions Association (ETA)
Thank you for your gracious letter pointing out how we failed to adhere to one of our core missions, which is to fully support all industry trade associations and organizations that do so much to better the lives of the payments industry's feet on the street.
We heartily encourage our readers to attend ETA's Annual Meeting, knowing how much educational and networking value this event provides. And we are honored that the ETA's inaugural article appears on page 78 of this issue: "Washington update: What to watch in the coming months," by Rob Drozdowski, ETA Senior Director.
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