To: The Mortgage Bankers Association
From: Brandie Young
January 12, 2009
Re: Have you heard the terms “Transparency” or “Web 2.0”. Really?
For over a decade, I’ve attended more MBA events than I can remember. Your events are top-notch and attract the best and brightest from many walks of the mortgage, mortgage related and real estate industries.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most of the companies (especially Lenders) are out of business – thus the ~40% drop in event attendance. These are tough times in our industry. While I’m all about monetizing, I think the time is ripe for the MBA to step into current times, and help keep the people that can’t afford the very pricey cost of attending. Why? To update your brand and keep your leadership position.
You are the best example of a broadcast brand I’ve seen. And that’s not a compliment.
Your communications are one-way. We (members of the industry) don’t really have a say in context or content of the events. And, since you don’t allow ANY video to be taken of presentations, those that can’t afford to attend can’t get the benefit of the sage wisdom dispensed during the sessions.
If as an industry we are to pull ourselves up, dust off and forge ahead – we require this information like oxygen.
I suggest urge that you live stream the events. You will not lose attendance as a result. People that can attend, will do so for the networking and sales opportunities. Really. Instead, you will become a hero to the masses that can’t attend, and perhaps prove value to those that question spending a grand or so to attend and win them as future attendees.
Plus, it will keep the events top-of-mind with those that hope to attend in the future. (You know, that 40% that aren’t attending events this year.)
Let go of the control.
Listen to your members.
Let the members define the events and participate virtually.
By letting go, you will get far more down the road. You will be appreciated. You may even create evangelists.
Test it out. Send a survey to see if that’s what the industry wants out of our Association. And, if you must – charge for it – but a meager $10.
p.s. And let us throw a party, even if we aren’t exhibiting or sponsoring. Sheesh.