BECU draws up to 700 members on average to its annual Member Summit. Thousands more live stream or watch a recorded “State of the Credit Union” online.
Buying a home and retirement planning are the two most popular breakout session topics.
CU QUICK FACTS
HQ: Tukwila, WA
Data as of 12.31.18
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 5.9%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 7.9%
In 2016, BECU ($19.6B, Tukwila, WA) changed the format of its traditional annual meeting and launched its first-ever Member Summit. Beyond simply reporting on the business of the credit union, BECU designed a meaningful event that provided useful financial education.
Here, Rachel Van Noord, director, community outreach for BECU, offers insight about the genesis of the Member Summit and advice for credit unions interested in incorporating financial education into their own annual events.
What brought about BECU’s Member Summit?
Rachel Van Noord, Director, Community Outreach, BECU
Rachel Van Noord: Prior to creating the Member Summit in 2016, there was not a lot of member interest in our traditional annual meeting. We wanted an event members would want to attend, and we wanted to create awareness that BECU is a co-op that exists to help members. We surveyed members and discovered they wanted more of a financial seminar or workshop — not another meeting. With this feedback, we created the Member Summit.
Where does BECU hold the event?
RV: We have many great venues in the Puget Sound area. We’ve held the Member Summit at the Museum of Flight, because of the Boeing connection, and at a performance space in downtown Seattle. This year, we are holding it in a conference center in the northern part of Puget Sound.
With the workshop format, it’s important to find a space that can accommodate multiple breakout sessions and other elements of the event.
How do you structure the event?
RV: We initially had a financial education workshop followed by a brief business meeting. Now, we sandwich the business meeting between two financial education breakout sessions so members can attend multiple workshops.
Last year’s Member Summit took place from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. It included four financial education breakout sessions, some of which were repeated, and an Executive Forum.
The Executive Forum is an opportunity for members to engage directly with our executives in an open Q&A session. They ask about membership, programs, and the overall business. It’s quite popular.
Click here to download the agenda of BECU’s 2018 Member Summit.
What do you do about other aspects, such as food and activities?
RV: We have food, of course. That’s always enticing to members. Additionally, we have an expo space where different groups from BECU have tables and talk about the work they are doing. For example, our HR team talks about careers. Our Financial Health Check team also has a table and encourages members to register for that program.
We’ve included small business members in the expo and have seen moderate success with that. We are still exploring how to best highlight local businesses in the spirit of the member-owned cooperative.