I go to more conferences than are good for me. And if you’re like me, you don’t attend many sessions, and you meet with the same cast of characters. I have two suggestions on breaking those rules. If you read this blog, I’d argue there are two must-do conferences on your calendar: Money2020 (in October) and Emerge (in June, and save $200 with this code: CORE). The former goes broad and the latter goes deep.
The American Banker and our partner CFSI are the brains behind Emerge, which this year rebranded from its previous title, the Underbanked Financial Services Forum. Here are five reasons you MUST attend:
First, some of my favorite new voices are speaking: Dan Shulman from Amex is always ready to think massive. I’m currently reading behavioral economist Eldar Shafir‘s latest book, Scarcity, and it’s eye-opening. And Lisa Servon, from the New School, has shaken up our community with her eloquent writing on the value of much-maligned check cashers and the realities of their customers (WSJ, New Yorker, Atlantic).
Second, a truly diverse crowd. No, just not bankers. Not just card folks. Not just advocates. Not just regulators. Not just investors. Not just entrepreneurs. Not just the big processors. Not just analysts. Not just payday lenders. All of them. A big, messy melting pot. And if you know anything about our industry, while you may not like it, IT TAKES ALL OF US.
Third, this year MasterCard is sponsoring the best-ever Core Innovators Challenge, where the best and brightest will be subjected to the largest expert panel in the industry to determine the most innovative solution for the underserved. The nominations are in, and we’ll shortly announce the four finalists who will present. At stake: fame, fun and fortune (well, $10k).
Fourth, if my friends at CFSI are good at anything it’s great content. Panels aren’t thrown together willy nilly from sponsoring companies. They are hand-picked, deep tissue massaged and dress rehearsed to deliver new insight, genuine debate and wisdom from experience. So you will not just be attending sessions, you’ll be annoyed you have to choose between concurrent sessions. Won’t that be a nice change from the norm?
Fifth, real experiences in Los Angeles. Leave the Hyatt and join CFSI on its popular (usually invite-only) offering to experience financial services for the underbanked. Sponsored by Amex, the session is called FinX, and it’s an eye-opener for even the most grizzled vet in our space. Plus, LA is the largest US market for AFS and money transfer, so check us out.
If you’re an entrepreneur – let me know you’re coming. Everyone else, register here. Early bird deadline is April 25 (and the price only goes up from here). Use CORE as a special code for reading my blog and you’ll get $200. You’re welcome!