In the years prior to 2011, The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) convention and meetings department worked with a small company to help them create and manage its event production. But like most growing national associations, the ICBA realized the need to enhance its events and make them more engaging. They needed to find a way to combine personal storytelling with technology and to enhance what their members experienced during their convention’s general sessions.
In 2011, Jan Meyer, the Executive Vice President of Operations, Conventions and Meetings met Jim Kelley, Vice President Marketing and Industry Relations. The rest, as they say, is history.
PRG had an opportunity to talk with Jan Meyer and Jim Mastey, Senior Vice President Conventions and Meetings of the ICBA, about its Convention and Meetings business, and their seven-year working relationship with PRG.
PRG: What is The Independent Community Bankers of America?
MEYER: We’re a non-profit association, founded in 1930, that represents nearly 5,700 Independent Community Banks across the US.
PRG: What does ICBA do?
MEYER: ICBA creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. We provide information to, and education for our members. Whether it’s offering certification on a new banking regulation, or helping our members stay ahead of the curve on the newest payments or fintech products, we provide information to, and education for our members. We also work with congressional leaders on matters that affect community banks and advocate on their behalf. And, we help to develop the future leaders of our industry.
PRG: In 2011, you started working with Jim Kelley and his team at PRG. Can you tell us why you decided to work with PRG?
MEYER: We were looking to add more wow-factor to our conventions and meetings. While the independent banking industry is sustained by personal relationships, it is also dependent upon existing and emerging technologies. So, we wanted to find a way to integrate both aspects into our meetings, to make them more engaging, to provide our members with valuable information in a manner that would be inspiring. When we met with Jim and the PRG team about our needs, we could see they had a proven track record for infusing energy and excitement into a show. Their insights, their creativity, their unique technologies, and most importantly, their understanding of our business, was unparalleled. They were so much more than a production company, or an equipment or staging company, they truly were, and continue to be, a valued business partner.
MASTEY: In addition to understanding our business, PRG showed us how to spotlight and celebrate it in all-new ways. They helped us create a video for our incoming chairman and completely raised the bar, exceeding our expectations. It was dynamic! It had movement and music, and overall, helped us tell our story.
PRG: Was there one thing in particular that PRG brought to the table that gave you the wow-factor you were looking for.
MEYER: Insight is a major thing PRG brings to the table. Jim Kelley is deeply engrained in the global meeting industry. He tells us what is happening in the industry, the trends, the technologies. He sees the work being done by PRG around the world from all of its divisions and recommends an approach that help us achieve f our production goals. Jim and Micah, who is our day-to-day contact at PRG, are truly engaged in all aspects of the production planning.
MASTEY: PRG helps us to inform, educate and inspire our members. Most of all, they help us motivate our members to use what they’ve learned at our events and put it to use back at their banks and in their communities. .
PRG: If you had to describe your working relations with PRG in one word, what would it be?
PRG: Any final thoughts about working with PRG?
MASTEY: They have truly been fantastic partners, making the production process seamless so we can focus on our members’ experience.
MEYER: The Wow factor they brought to our show beginning in 2011 continues today, and whether it’s through industry-leading technology or other insights they bring to the table, we can’t wait to see what’s next!
Photo Credit: Preston Mack Photography