Tag Archives: conventions

Annual GLTSA Conference

Reported by Peter Lyle DeHaan

The annual Great Lakes Telemessaging Services Association (GLTSA) convention was held September 16 – 18 at the elegant Amway Grand Plaza Hotel located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. There were approximately thirty-five participants in attendance.

The conference began Monday evening with an opening reception sponsored by Telescan. The next morning, GLTSA President, Rob Bennett, welcomed the attendees, thanking them for coming. Darlene Campbell, ATSI (Association of TeleServices International) immediate past president, informed attendees on her work for disaster preparedness, followed by ATSI president, Tedd Smith, who gave a well received ATSI update. Allan Fromm talked about agent scheduling and gave a demo of his scheduling software package. A delicious lunch, provided by Amtelco, followed.

Afterwards, Cheryl Campbell and Patty Kennedy shared their insight and experiences in running award winning call centers. Peter DeHaan followed, providing his analysis on future trends, encouraging attendees to begin taking steps now to prepare for these developments. The next to share was Ken Rothacker who passed on his first-hand knowledge about the changing telco environment, giving his advice on how to successfully navigate it. Tuesday evening was open, providing ample time for networking and informal sharing. Kerry Paul of Kelcom in Windsor, Ontario was the happy winner in the drawing for the Lazy Boy Chair.

Wednesday was kicked off by the ever entertaining Mike Friedel, from Amtelco, who discussed developments with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and what the impact might be on call centers serving the medical community. Vendor presentations followed from Amtelco, CadCom, Professional Teledata, Record/Play Tek, Startel, and Telescan.

The GLTSA business meeting capped of the conference. New board members are Kay Crouse of SecTel Corp., Novi, Mich, Trues Wheeler and Doug Oberlander of Com Link, Ltd, Peoria, Illinois, and Mick Moe of Block Business Call Center, Milwaukee, Wisc. They will join Rob Bennett, John Cook, and Dan Hogan on the board.

If you would like more information about GLTSA, contact Rob Bennett at 888-712-9396.

[From Connection MagazineNovember 2002]

The 2002 ATSI Convention

Convention Review and Update

By Tedd Smith, ATSI President

Hello, everyone! It is my honor to serve as your president of ATSI for the next twelve months. I want to review the 2002 Convention in Denver and extend thanks and praise to our vendors and members who worked so hard.

We had a great turnout in Denver with 315 members and vendors in attendance, up from 299 last year. The pre-convention workshop by Carolyn West Price was a “standing-room-only” event. The convention kicked off with an address by Jim McPherson of America’s Blood Centers, who spoke about the alliance that is forming between our two organizations. Immediate Past President, Darlene Campbell, has pledged her time and extraordinary talents to this huge project.

Ron Beilin and Paul Del Fino of Opportunity, Inc. presented the results of the benchmarking survey that ATSI undertook last year. If your company responded to the survey, you will be receiving the complete details of their report.

Darlene cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Expo and we stampeded into the trade show to find out all of the great new stuff that our vendors had to offer. The trade show was completely sold out, thanks to the great support of our industry’s vendors.

Afternoons were filled with user group meetings and round table discussions, which were all well attended. The opening reception on Thursday night was a blast. The Friday morning general sessions were related to the Internet and technology, while the Saturday morning sessions covered legislative issues among other topics. After the morning sessions, attendees could spend time in the Expo or attend more user group meetings.

The Awards luncheon on Saturday was wonderful. I had the pleasure of surprising Jim Marchbank by inducting him into the ATSI Hall of Fame. Most of us had never seen Jim at a loss for words before, but we did this time. Of course, Jim was able to pull a story out of his repertoire that amused and entertained us all. The ATSI Award of Excellence winners were announced. Congratulations to all of the winners and everyone who participated.

There are many people to thank for this great meeting. Lori Jenkins, as Convention Committee chair, did an outstanding job. Charlene Glorieux and her staff solved all of the myriad problems that occur at a function like this before anyone noticed them. Darlene Campbell’s leadership will serve as an inspiration to all of us for years to come. Many thanks to our presenters and to our vendors, for all of the support they give to our industry. Telescan provided the tote bags to attendees. Special thanks go to the sponsors of the ATSI 2002 Open: Alston Tascom, Amtelco, CadCom Telesystems, Professional Teledata, Startel, TASBiller, Telescan, and WSTA. Thanks to all of the User Groups for their attendance and support. Finally, thanks to all of the Committee Chairs and the Board of Directors who will be working so hard for all of us this year.


Convention Highlights

By Darlene Campbell

The accolades I have received about our 58th annual convention must be shared with the chair, Lori Jenkins of Denver, CO, and all of the outstanding presenters and exhibitors. Our convention was successful in terms of attendance and content. If you stop to consider the world we live in now having seventy-five percent of an organization’s membership attend a convention, conference, or meeting of any kind is outstanding.

The presentation on Thursday by Ron Beilin and Paul Del Fino of Opportunity, Inc. was the culmination of many months of work on our industry benchmarking program. We learned some thought provoking answers to business performance questions such as, “What is the definition of good performance?” “How do you define good in your company?” “How do you plan?” We learned that sixty-eight percent of the respondents have no plan, forty percent do not formally plan or develop a budget, and thirty-eight percent are dissatisfied with meeting their goals. (Refer to the accompanying chart for more details.)  If there is no plan and no budget, how can one expect to accomplish goals? The overall review of the benchmarking survey results will be made available to ATSI members via the ATSI website. This is just the first step in our industry benchmarking process. More work will be done in coming months.

Bill Durr of Blue Pumpkin Software gave an outstanding presentation on optimizing workforce by addressing scheduling with flexibility of start times and shift duration. Bill Durr is truly an evangelist for his company and the call center industry.

Legislative issues have not been a significant issue for our industry since the nineties but we need to be tuned in now with the multitude of telephone service providers closing down without notice or with only short-term notice. Our industry must join together to obtain essential service provider status with the FCC. The presentation by Pete Orvis, ATSI member, Jeff Hartzell, Vice President of Focal Communications, and Jeff Carlisle, FCC representative was enlightening and is the first step in providing the groundwork for our future legislative agenda.

The initiative for Disaster Preparedness has been endorsed America’s Blood Centers. Members of ATSI have volunteered to set up pilot projects in several cities in the US and Canada. Our members are excited about the opportunity to assist their local community blood centers in relation to blood services and funding. We are prepared to offer outbound services in the event of a disaster to raise awareness of the need for blood and dollars. Many members of ATSI have indicated that they can provide alternative office space in the event that a blood center must be evacuated. My hope is to have six pilot projects up and running in the next six months. Our goal is to let the relationships developed by our respective members take the program forward to optimally meet the overall need.

Benchmark Profile

Results

Full time employees23
Number of workstations16
Annual call volume (median)1,400,000
Annual call volume (median)860,000
  

Benchmark Highlights

 
Do not have a plan68 %
Have a plan, but don’t use it23 %
Use a plan9 %
No formal plan or budget40 %
Dissatisfied in meeting goals38 %
  

Summary (messaging)

 
Calls per agent hour41 calls
Call Length: (average)48 sec.
Call Length: (median)43 sec.
Revenue per minute (average)$ 1.17
Revenue per minute (median)$ 1.09
Revenue per call (average)$ 1.01
Revenue per call (median)$ 1.08
  

Summary (order-taking)

 
Calls per agent hour36
Call Length: (average)151 sec.
Call Length: (median)122 sec.
Revenue per minute (average)$ 0.90
Revenue per minute (median)$ 0.95
Revenue per call (average)$ 2.48
Revenue per call (median)$ 2.50

Golf Committee Salutes Donations for Golf Outing

David Brashear and Mary Jones, coordinators of the ATSI Golf Outing, want to issue a big “thanks” to the vendors who supported the golf outing by donating prizes and gifts.

  • Alston Tascom: Titanium driver
  • Amtelco: Cordless phones (2)
  • CadCom: Golf shirts and hats
  • Peter DeHaan Consulting: Gift certificate to Amazon.com
  • Professional Teledata: Collapsible coolers
  • TASbill.com (Chris Twig): Business cards (2 sets)
  • Telescan: A sleeve of golf balls for each player
  • ATSI: Award plaques

ATSI Convention Exhibitors

In case you missed this year’s convention or could not take in the entire exhibit hall, here is a list of the exhibitors along with their contact information:

Almond Hill Enterprises Inc.

Alston Tascom, Inc.
909-548-7311
contact: Bill Cortus
info@alstontascom.com
www.alstontascom.com
Evolution provides a unified IVR, ACD, voicemail, call logging, power dialer, and blended call capabilities.

Amtelco
608-838-4194
contact: Kevin Ryan/Jim Becker
info@amtelco.com
www.amtelco.com
Manufactures messaging and order-taking platforms, voice mail and message delivery systems.

CadCom TeleSystems 

Copia International Ltd.

CTI Software

DB Masters Software 

Incoming Calls Management Institute

Professional Teledata
800-344-9944
contact: Patricia Kalik
Pkalik@proteledata.com
www.professionalteledata.com
PI-2000: order-entry software package, TBS: billing and invoicing system, and FMDS II: fax delivery system.

Record/Play Tek Inc.
574-848-5233
contact: Michael Stoll
Stoll@recordplaytek.com
www.recordplaytek.com
Provides voice logging digital recorders featuring continuous record, automatic back up, and featuring event screens.

Southern Telemessaging Association
800-475-0857
contact: Daniel L ‘Heureux
Offers CBIT CD-ROM programs for the teleservices industry.

Startel Corporation 

Szeto Technologies Inc.
877-697-9368
contact: Sherry Gouel
Info@szeto.ca
www.szeto.ca Linux-based messaging system, Call Linx, provides businesses with complete teleservices options.

TASbiller

TAS Marketing
800-369-6126
contact: Steve Michaels
Tas@tasmarketing.com
www.tasmarketing.com
Brokerage firm specializing in the mergers and acquisitions of telephone answering services nationwide.

Telescan

[From Connection MagazineSept/Oct 2002]

PIN Annual Meeting

Reported by Elaine Senecal

Professional Inbound Network (PIN) held their annual meeting in sunny Orlando Florida just outside Universal Studios at the Holiday Inn on Kirkman Road. PIN President, Steve Ridder opened the conference on Thursday morning, welcoming over eighty members and introducing this year’s speakers and presenters.

Professional Teledata representatives annually attend the PIN Conference. Jim Graham, VP of Software Development, provided the group with insight into the development direction of PI2000 version 6 and the features and benefits of the PI2000 Web Connector module and the PI POWER, the online Web exporting & reporting system. Dale Schafer, VP of Engineering, held a Web Security/Virus Safety seminar. Discussions included policies and procedures, virus protection, firewalls and an understanding of what to do to protect your operations. Ernie Waldron offered his expertise in generating professional reports and solutions for report automation and delivery.

Mike Ketter from TimeTrade Systems, Inc. demonstrated the ease of using Web-based appointment and reservation scheduling software. Cindy White and Mike then presented the interface developed between the PI2000 software and TimeTrade appointment software. Cindy also presented the group with PI2000 valuable features and functions that are often overlooked and gave a demonstration on the use of the Web board conferencing.

Guest speaker Dave Dearborn former CEO of Protocol Communications brought exciting ideas and thoughts to the group during his presentation: “Take Care of Your Customers and They’ll Take Care of You.”

Ray Shaw, Randy Harmat, and Steve Ridder lead the discussion entitled, “The Bits and Pieces of Moving Your Call Center.” Also, Sherri Sonnier, Scott Lyons, and Keven Lehmann gave a presentation on unique scripting techniques.

Elections were held Thursday afternoon. Officers for 2002-2003 include, Susan Fisher — President, Randy Harmat — Vice President, Peter Gross — Treasurer, and Rebecca Littleton — Secretary. Board of Directors include Ken Goldenberg, Ray Shaw and Bill Bosch. Many thanks to Joann Fossell and Cheryl Campbell for their contributions and severing their terms.

Thursday night’s networking reception, sponsored by PIN, welcomed first time Attendees. Friday night’s dinner entertainment, sponsored by Professional Teledata and PIN, was held at Pat O’Brien’s.

The meeting wrapped up Saturday with the PI2000 Enhancement Committee – Ken Goldenberg and Ray Shaw leading an open forum to give members the opportunity to direct questions and discuss their ideas with the group and Professional Teledata.

[From Connection MagazineJuly/Aug 2002]

NAEO Annual Meeting

The National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) held its annual meeting in Clearwater, Florida. With over 160 present, the meeting officially began Sunday evening with an opening reception, but was preceded by a pre-conference seminar, hosted by President Elect, Michael Leibowitz on MDR and report generator. After dinner, the group enjoyed a lively game of “Glow-in-the-Dark” volleyball, on the beautiful Sand Key beach.

By Monday, the convention was in full swing; NAEO President, Jamey Hopper, along with Tom Curtin and Joe Everly, welcomed attendees. Jim Esser and Kevin Beale continued with an informative overview of Infinity developments. Matt Crocker presented an enlightening discourse on Internet security. And ATSI President, Darlene Campbell gave the ATSI update and, along with Paul Del Fino, encouraged everyone to submit their benchmarking surveys.

During lunch, Amtelco‘s spacious exhibit hall opened and remained available for demos and training. Two educational tracks were then offered. Shane Burleson adeptly headed the medical/hospital session, while Cheryl Campbell, Kelli Harrigan, and Jim Curcuru talked about nurturing staff. Peter Shurman followed with his insight into sales and marketing. Next up were Allan Fromm, Clayton Robinson, and Bill Smith extolling the virtues of voice logging. Amtelco sponsored the evening’s dinner and music in their usual magnanimous style; everyone had a great time.

Tuesday began with the NAEO business meeting where Dan Hogan, Marci Imes, Brad Wagnon, and Joe Sameh were elected to the NAEO Board of Directors. Next up was a panel of Stan Gardner, Cheryl Campbell, Joy Dunn, and Renee Dunn on managing remote operators. Connie Johnson then gave an overview training session on BillingLinks. After lunch, the trio of Jim Marchbank, Gordon Mott, and John Ratliff discussed the three-call versus one-call debate; each gave insightful input and shared unique perspectives. Then Connie Johnson covered eCreator basics, Clayton Robinson shared ideas on generating new revenue, and Jamey Hopper delivered his anticipated skills-based routing workshop. There was more open time in the Amtelco exhibit hall, followed by a (calm) inland waterway cruise.

On Wednesday, Gary Kerner and Kevin Beale shared Infinity’s new add-on features. The attendees were impressed and pleased with the innovations and enhancements. Another panel followed, with John Ratliff, Jim Marchbank, and Jamey Hopper providing some practical “how to” tips. Next, Kevin Beale, Jim Esser, and Mike Leibowitz held an informative “Q & A” session where NAEO members had a chance to express their product ideas directly to the developers.

This was followed by the awards luncheon. The following awards were presented: Amtelco Employee of the year: Mike Freidl (honorable mentions to: Wendy Towne, Ray Jalbert, and Jody LaLuzerne); President’s Award: Shane Burleson; Writer of the Year: MaryAnn Wetmore; Curtin Scholarship: Jim Curcuru; Collins Scholarship: Candice Luser; and the drawing for free registration for the 2003 Conference went to Chris Matthews.

Two post conference workshops were held. Allan Fromm conducted an advanced MDR workshop, while Connie Johnson took an in-depth look at eCreator.

The conference committee of Mary Reeves (chair), MaryAnn Wetmore, and Kelly Harrigan did an excellent job of planning the meeting, while supporting cast Shannon Pfarr Thompson and David Ewald at management firm Ewald and Associates were at their usual high level of excellence with their prep work and behind the scenes efforts.

Jim Marchbank succinctly captured the consensus: “I think it was one of the best meetings that I have ever attended.” Laurie Blow concurred, “I want to thank everyone for the excellent information that was shared. [I] was quite impressed with how many of your ideas I was able to return to the office and put into action.”

[Pictures are available at www.naeo.org]

[From Connection MagazineMay/June 2002]

CadCom Equipment Owners Annual National Meeting

Reported by Jason Turnbow

CadCom Equipment Owners (CEO) recently held their annual National Meeting at the beautiful Grosvenor Resort in Walt Disney World. This year’s conference provided attendees with insight from fellow members, guest speakers, and CadCom representatives on topics such as employee motivation, analyzing statistics, goal setting, and new products.

ATSI President, Darlene Campbell addressed the group and discussed some of the exciting new happenings regarding ATSI, including its drive for new members, and some ideas to promote teleservices at a nation-wide level.

“This annual meeting is extremely valuable to our users. It’s always great to hear the members exchange ideas and suggestions that can help their peers improve their business,” said Jack Baldwin, President of CadCom. CadCom representatives annually attend the meeting to provide free training, showcase new product offerings, and to listen to users’ needs and feedback. This year, three training sessions were held prior to the conference. Throughout the meeting, CadCom representatives revealed new AccuCall features such as the on-call scheduler, new message formats, Web integration and the integration of CadCom’s new agent scripting tool, AccuScript.

The meeting began on the evening of Wednesday, February 6, with a reception hosted by CadCom. The reception gave members a chance to meet new users and renew old acquaintances.

Thursday started off with a welcome from CEO president Steve Kenny, followed by a feature update from CadCom’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, JR Criner.

A Mystery Theater Dinner at the resort capped off Thursday’s events. Ron Vincent came away as the big winner of the evening.

Friday morning started with a presentation from Jack Baldwin. Jack addressed the members with ideas on planning, goal setting, and growth through business diversification.

Elections for the CadCom Equipment Owners officers were held at the event. Officers for 2002-2003 include:

Brad Burgan — President

Ron Irby — Vice President

Vicki Montgomery – Secretary

Joseph Wofford — Treasurer

The meeting wrapped up Saturday with a technical open forum led by Chief Technical Officer, Ron Petty. Members were given the opportunity to discuss ways to use their equipment more efficiently, benefits of new features, and the future developments of AccuCall and AccuScript.

[Pictures, courtesy of Alan Hartmann, are available at www.pbase.com/abh/ceofeb02]

[From Connection MagazineMay/June 2002]

SNUG Annual Meeting

Reported by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

The Startel National Users Group (SNUG) held its fifteenth annual meeting February third through sixth in sunny Orlando, Florida. With approximately 100 in attendance, the convention kicked off with an opening Super Bowl party Sunday evening.

The educational meetings started the next day. SNUG President, Chris Bell welcomed attendees and provided additional information about SNUG’s valuable and worthwhile certification program. Although originally designed around the Startel platform, SNUG is already receiving certification requests from centers using other systems; the board will be addressing these inquiries.

Startel President, David Chuchinsky, welcomed attendees, gave a brief company update, and then passed the baton to Tim Wolin. Tim gave the Startel engineering update. The remainder of Monday’s sessions were presented by Startel. Startel graciously hosted the evening’s social event.

Tuesday opened with a presentation showcasing some of the SNUG members’ marketing literature; each company that was represented gave a brief overview and associated cost of their literature. Next, ATSI President, Darlene Campbell, gave an update on the exciting developments at ATSI. In addition to a fresh commitment to serve the industry, ATSI has also added many new members with their “win-back” program. David Gardner then shared his first hand experience with remote agent stations, including how the government paid for them! Chris Twigg followed, talking about using the Internet to send invoices and collect payments. In light of delayed mail during the recent anthrax scare, this was timely and practical information. The final session before lunch was the Startel “Enhancement List” update, headed by Kelly Weiss. Lunch was provided by Startel and VeriCall, which was followed by the business meeting. New board members were elected. The complete board is now comprised of Donna West, President; Mary Jones, President Elect; Chris Bell, Past President; Julia Blythe, Secretary; Susan Mealer, Treasurer; Beth Cooper, Conference Chair; Alice Waters, Conference Co Chair; and Directors Aaron Boatin, Dan Horn, and Kelly Weiss.

Next up was Lanette Reandeau who gave an idea-packed presentation filled with marketing ideas and insights. This convention marked the first time in several years where outside vendors were in attendance; they wrapped up the day with brief presentations: Professional Teledata, Record/Play Tek, QOS Merchant Solutions, TASBill.com, VeriCall and Accurate Messages.

On Wednesday, Dirk Moeller talked about the benefits of database importing, and David Gardner got members up to speed on using frame relay service to connect remote agents. Then Tom van Ouse updated everyone on the status of the Startel “alarm module.” Chris Bell shared a methodology to determine the true cost of serving clients, and Dennis O’Hara presented a wealth of information on using the Internet to enhance marketing efforts.

The Don Berry Award winner was Dan L’Heureux for an unprecedented second time; he in turn presented a portrait of Don Berry to Startel. The convention was concluded with a SNUG certification workshop, lead by Beth Cooper and Aaron Boatin lead a discussion about Voice Net.

By all accounts, this was one of the best SNUG conventions in recent memory. Mary Jones, convention chair, deserves high praise and accolades for her efforts. Special thanks goes Executive Director Dan L’Heureux for his work in producing an organized and effective convention.

[From Connection MagazineMarch 2002]

TUNe Meeting, November 2001

Reported by Darlene Campbell, TUNe President

If you missed the fall TUNe conference you missed great food, great friends, and hilarity. And, of course, mentally stimulating conversation and idea sharing.

The wish list is always the best reason to be in St. Louis at the fall conference – unless you consider the highly secret evening of entertainment planned by the folks at Telescan. Neither the wish list session nor the mystery dinner let us down this year. We hammered away at the wish list all day Friday and into Saturday morning. Yes, we want software upgrades and we want it all! It is pretty evident that Bob Vornberg and his staff had anticipated many of our questions because he kept saying, “I am working on that and it is doable!” Those were the words you wanted to hear. It is my understanding that Telescan is looking to hire another software programmer as well.

At the business meeting on Saturday, TUNe members voted to update our training CD-ROM. We will use our treasury surplus to fund the upgrade. We are a nonprofit organization, but have found ourselves in violation of the rules, so we are going to spend our money. This project will not start until the latest software enhancements are in place. Raymond Baggarly will be chairing this committee. We also voted to reduce the price of the current training CD-ROM. It is a valuable tool for training but we know that it has limitations due to the many upgrades most of our members have loaded on their systems in the past three years.

At Saturday’s session we saw presentations on scheduling via the Internet, billing software, and merchant services. Telescan is working with several vendors so we can offer value added services to our client base.

This conference was my last as President of the Telescan User’s Network. Thank you for the honor you placed upon me by selecting me for the job. I will continue to be a cheerleader for Telescan and the TUNe user group in the coming years. Please support David Peck and the new Board of Directors as the new season begins.

[From Connection MagazineJan/Feb 2002]

GLTSA Meeting, October 2001

The annual Great Lakes Telemessaging Services Association (GLTSA) convention was held October 24th and 25th in Schaumburg Illinois. Originally scheduled for September 13th and 14th, the convention was postponed due to the terrorist attacks on September 11th.

Most of the original registrants were able to make the new dates, plus there were a few new attendees. There were approximately thirty-five participants in attendance. Vendors included Amtelco, Comverse, Professional Teledata, Record/Play Tek, and Tascom. Special thanks to these fine vendors for their presence and support of the association.

GLTSA President, Dan Hogan opened the meeting, welcoming the attendees and thanking them for their support and understanding of the decision to reschedule the convention. Peter DeHaan gave the keynote address and encouraged everyone to begin laying the groundwork to someday employ home-based agents. Even though employee hiring and retention challenges have declined for most members, this is a short-term situation and ultra-low unemployment rates will soon return. Now is the time to begin planning and preparing.

Jonathon Lehrer led an informative and practical discussion on websites, sharing many useful tips, ideas, and insights; his input was greatly appreciated by those present. A practical session on CRM was presented by Tony Murray. Troy Naals, a successful voice mail provider, flew in from Texas to share his sales and marketing strategies and successes. His ideas were not only relevant to selling voice mail service, but applied equally well to selling live services. Troy’s presentation was both entertaining and informative.

Darlene Campbell, ATSI President, was present and updated us on the current status and future goals of ATSI. She presented four initiatives which had been launched or are being pursued. The first idea was to increase public awareness of the teleservices industry and the vital role that we play. Secondly she highlighted a renewed educational focus, followed by a legislative effort being aptly headed by our own Gary Pudles. The next item was a dues restructuring and an effort to win back members. On the table for the future is an effort to pursue industry benchmarking (which is already being advanced) and the development of a four year strategic plan. The new motto of ATSI, reflecting these initiatives, is “Learning by Association.”

GLTSA’s new President, Rob Bennett began his term by leading the GLTSA business meeting and Betty Porter followed the convention with a special ATSI seminar. All in attendance agreed that it was an exciting and worthwhile meeting, wishing that more would have been present to enjoy and reap the benefits.

If you would like more information about GLTSA or to attend next year’s convention, contact Rob Bennett at 888-712-9396.

[From Connection MagazineJan/Feb 2002]

CAM-X Convention Summary, November 2001

The Canadian Call Management Association (CAM-X) held its 37th annual convention and trade show, November 28th through December 1st, in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. The event was well attended with approximately eighty people present.

The conference, sponsored by CAM-X and Telus, also lined up a stellar group of vendors as strategic partners. These included equipment and software vendors Amtelco, CadCom, Professional Teledata, Startel, Szeto, Tascom, and Telescan, along with user group, NAEO, and insurance carrier Capri. We salute these vendors for their presence and support of CAM-X.

An NAEO pre-conference was led by Mike Leibowitz and Allan Fromm, covering topics such as sales compensation, management, turning leads into sales, and Infinity programming.

The main convention began the next day. CAM-X President Kerry Paul welcomed the vendors and attendees. He then introduced distinguished guest, Darlene Campbell, ATSI President. Darlene, brought greetings from ATSI and shared information about their initiative with the American Red Cross. There was much interest in what she communicated.

The keynote presentation was given by Marc Bombenon of PDL Call Centres. Mark’s presentation was inspiring, as he encouraged us to “take our business to higher ground.” His well-received discourse set the stage for a successful meeting. Joe McGuiness followed, discussing dot-coms and Paul Ruiterman covered virus protection. The topic of prospecting, presented by John Whitehead, rounded out Thursday’s presentations. The exhibit hall opened at noon and attendees kept vendors busy giving demos and explaining product developments.

Friday’s sessions were equally compelling. A case study, about transitioning from call centre to contact centre, was shared by Cindy Roma. Peter DeHaan, then explained how to go about hiring for the contact centre with his presentation entitled “Staffing the Web-enabled call centre.” After lunch we were treated to a session about 911 training by Tally Wade. Other sessions included email management presented by Sydney Ryan and “Generating revenue with no HR or capital expense” by Tascom’s Bill Cortus.

The convention, however, was not all educational sessions and meetings. Many attendees were able to squeeze in some skiing. Enthusiasts reported that snow conditions were wonderful. A short but intense storm on Saturday delayed the departure of those who planned to duck out early.

The highlight of the convention was the much anticipated Awards Luncheon. It, too, was brought to a “higher ground,” with a suspenseful buildup culminating with the award announcements.

The convention concluded with a “Gala Evening Banquet” that continued into the wee hours of the morning. With that, the gavel was passed to incoming President Desiree Bombenon. Special accolades go to Lillian Lyle for her hard work in producing a first-class event.

Next year’s convention is at a can’t miss location in Nassau, Bahamas, on October 20 to 24, 2002. If you would like more information about CAM-X or attending next year’s convention, contact Linda Osip at 800-896-1054 or camx@nas.net.

[From Connection MagazineJan/Feb 2002]