I was fortunate enough to attend the American Teleservices Association (ATA) National Convention in Phoenix last week. The allure of early March in Phoenix was apparently just the prescription for many of us from the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest. And, while the weather didn't disappoint, neither did the real reasons for attending the ATA National Convention.
Advocacy—For nearly 30 years, the ATA has spoken on behalf of those in our industry. Conversations with regulators and legislators at both the federal and local levels serve to inform those individuals about marketing practices, technology and other advancements inside our industry. A great example is the recent and on-going dialogue the ATA has with the FTC regarding the ATA's Self-Regulating Organization (SRO) process. By communicating the successes to-date with the ATA's own stringent regulatory and compliance certification, the ATA is demonstrating to the FTC that we, as an industry, take compliance and consumer protection seriously! See more at www.atasroconnect.org
Education—Regulatory guidelines, technological advancements and customer relationship management (CRM) processes change at a blistering pace. The ATA provides extensive learning opportunities via its educational sessions at the National Convention, its annual compliance Summit and through regional Chapter meetings. The ATA provides a number of other educational resources as well including those associated with the newly announced Customer Engagement Professional (CEP) designation. See more at www.atacep.org
Networking—The ATA provides opportunities to network with clients, prospects, vendors and friendly competitors. The sense of community that comes from shared goals and objectives is ever-present at ATA events. And, that sense of common purpose fosters a trust that leads to idea exchange and often to revenue-generation. As the ATA likes to say, "Members buy from Members." And, the ATA fosters the notion by providing numerous networking, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities.
I can honestly say that I've never been more proud to be associated with the ATA. Having met the ATA staff, national board members, regional chapter leadership and many individuals on various sub-committees, I'm confident that we are being represented in a professional, proactive manner. In doing so, the ATA helps us all!