The newly rebranded event kicks off on November 15
In 2013, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) brought together retail, sales, marketing, and financial literacy bankers in Wisconsin for its first annual LEAD360 Conference. The event — which focused specifically on education, networking, and idea sharing — has provided thousands of bankers with the opportunity to connect with their peers, learn from industry experts, and return to office with action items. As the event approaches its tenth year, and the banking industry continues to undergo significant development, LEAD360 has now been rebranded as the FLEX: Retail and Marketing Summit.
“In today’s fast paced retail and marketing world, it is only appropriate that the Association continues to provide resources and highlight the efforts of bankers who work diligently to assist their bank in remaining up-to-date and relevant,” stated Miranda Gustafson, WBA assistant director – education. “Although the name has changed, the Summit continues to connect attendees with opportunities to expand their networks, exchange ideas, and deepen their understanding of various industry trends and innovations.”
A familiar face at many WBA events, Lisa Lyon will be attending her eighth FLEX Summit in 2023. Having served in various retail and marketing-support positions since beginning her tenure at Pillar Bank, Baldwin in 2013, Lyon finds significant value in the connections she has had the opportunity to foster and new ideas she has been able to introduce to the bank.
“Every year, WBA’s FLEX Summit provides several general sessions focused on particular, big ideas related to retail and marketing,” highlights Lyon. “These sessions are often complemented by additional round table discussions and peer networking sessions in which attendees have an opportunity to discuss various topics in greater detail, or dive into other ideas. To me, this is the most valuable aspect of the annual event, and why I — and many of my colleagues — return year after year.”
Gustafson notes that attendees can expect over eight hours of presentations — including general and breakout sessions — as well as ample time to network with exhibitors and bankers from across the state during the two-day event. The Summit will kick off in Wisconsin Dells on the morning of November 15 and adjourn at noon the following day.
In addition to attending the annual event, Lyon — who now serves as vice president – treasury management director — is actively involved with the WBF Financial Literacy Advisory Board. The Advisory Board, representing bankers involved with promoting financial literacy and capability throughout their communities, is charged with aiding WBA staff in the planning and organization of the financial literacy track during the Summit.
“Financial literacy often falls to a bank’s retail and marketing team, so tying financial education-focused components into an event like FLEX ensures that bankers who wear many hats are able to make the most out of their time away from their desks,” says Lyon.
Sales, marketing, and retail-focused bankers will also benefit from tracks planned in conjunction with the WBA Retail and Marketing Committees.
In addition to more than a day’s worth of sessions, the FLEX Summit will also feature two award ceremonies during a breakfast program on November 16. The first, which is presented by the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation, will recognize the efforts of bankers involved with financial education in Wisconsin communities from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.
The second award ceremony — a new addition to FLEX in 2023 — will recognize one member bank that demonstrated an innovative marketing campaign between August 1, 2022 and July 31, 2023. Submissions for the inaugural WBA Marketing Award are now being accepted at wisbank.com/MarketingExcellence through Saturday, September 30.
Lyon underscores that FLEX is the perfect opportunity for bankers of all levels to get involved. “So much good comes out of events like FLEX. From broadening your knowledge to fostering connections statewide, new and experienced bankers are sure to leave motivated and inspired for the year ahead.”