By John San Filippo
The CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference wrapped up its first full day at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., yesterday, Feb. 28, after a one-year hiatus from a live conference. (A virtual version of the GAC was offered in 2021.) Aside from a mask requirement to enter the convention center – which was largely ignored inside the exhibit hall – it was business as usual.
Although attendance was down compared to 2020, there were still more than 2,000 registered attendees, so the event appeared full. (Note that Finopotamus snuck into the exhibit hall before it opened Sunday to snap the pictures presented here.) A walk around the exhibit hall showed virtually every exhibitor engaged with credit union representatives.
As shown in the pictures, there were many recognizable brands on display in the exhibit hall. However, CUNA placed large floor tags on the floor in front of each first-time exhibitor’s booth, and there were surprisingly many of them. Perhaps not surprising is the fact that most of these new exhibitors were tech companies.
One thing that stood out was the large presence of exhibitors offering artificial intelligence (AI) based products and services. In 2020, there may have been one or two. This year, they included:
The exhibit hall included East and West Theaters where exhibitors were able to present on a wide range of topics. Monday’s lineup included:
Digital Strategies That Credit Unions Cannot Ignore, presented by Fiserv
Driving Financial Well-Being and Enhancing Member Lives, presented by Scienaptic AI
Using RegTech to Establish an Armor of Compliance, presented by CUNA
Digital Communication Is Now More Important Than Ever, presented by entropy
Finopotamus conducted several interviews that will be featured in our conference coverage over the next few days. Interviewees include:
Mark Chandler of Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) discussing the tech side of auto leasing
Mike de Vere of Zest AI and Barry Kirby of CuneXus discussing their new partnership
Carrie Stapp of Co-op Solutions discussing Co-op’s tech strategy
Theo Curey and David McIninch of Fiserv discussing tech innovation
Finally, Finopotamus found itself on the other side of the interview microphone when co-founder John San Filippo was interviewed by Mike Lawson for an upcoming CUBroadcast segment.
GAC is definitely back!