Have you ever walked into a party or event and immediately felt welcome? That’s precisely what our Founder, Justin, and I experienced when we joined the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota (ICBM) at their annual convention this August. The warm welcome we received reminded us of why we love partnering with associations. Association people are our people.
Where It All Began
Interestingly, our connection with ICBM began at another event hosted by our friends at Associations North – literally the association for associations. Over the past three years, we have worked with ICBM on various communication projects, including a year-long marketing program exclusively for ICBM born of the need to bolster virtual opportunities for members, the Soar! Marketing Forum.
This program uses a combination of virtual workshops, between-session homework, and dedicated office hours to help independent banks solidify and grow their brand. Topics focus on brand value creation, culminating in discovering the best ways for each bank to position its brand for growth. This foundational work brings clarity and consistency, making it easier to communicate their value to current customers and prospects.
We Work Hard. We Play Hard.
As with most conventions, the ICBM convention was a mix of social and informational opportunities. These social opportunities are a great opportunity to satisfy our curious natures and really learn about others. What are they passionate about? What are the challenges they are facing right now? What are they looking forward to next? It’s through these rich conversations that we develop deeper connections that really matter.
Held at Grand View Lodge, the setting was ideal for an outdoor adventure. Justin and I chose to participate in guided fishing on Gull Lake. We bonded with boatmates over the joy of being out on the water, the opportunity to connect in person, and the hunt for the elusive walleye. I and my fellow fisherwomen each had a successful fish tale to tell at the end of the day… Justin did not.
Time to Thrive
Because of our previous work with the ICBM team and Mercury’s long-term experience working virtually, Justin joined a panel of speakers to present his take on the future of business. His main message was that the hybrid workplace is here to stay. Businesses need to get on board and learn to adapt.
Justin’s keys to thriving now and into the future:
- Trust your employees + set them up for success
- Clearly communicate expected outcomes
- Continually improve your technology and virtual tools
- Be ready to adapt and be nimble
If we have learned one thing in the past few years, relationships matter more than ever. And not the short-term, transactional kind! At Mercury, all of us have found that taking the time to slow down, listen and connect has always been beneficial – personally and professionally. We encourage you to take a few minutes every day to learn more about someone you know or meet someone new. You won’t regret it.