GLTSA 2004 Conference Recap

The 2004 annual convention of the Great Lakes Telemessaging Services Association (GLTSA) was held at the Radisson Hotel and City Centre in Indianapolis, IN on September 27 and 28. The conference focused on innovative methods to increase business revenues while building high-quality customer relationships in the increasing call center and telephone answering service marketplace.

On hand to welcome the attendees and vendors on Tuesday was GLTSA President, Rob Bennett of Bennett Answering Service, of Flint, MI. Rob set the stage for the day by highlighting some of the GLTSA achievements of recent years and underscoring the need to continue the progress of the organization.

Sessions began with a high-energy presentation from Gary Pudles (AnswerNet Network) on “Effective Negotiations.” Mr. Pudles demonstrated winning techniques used in negotiations, including how to strike productive terms with new clients, staff, and potential partners.

Kelli Robbins of Contact One Communications followed with a presentation titled “Mining for Gold.”  The presentation included a step-by-step guide on how to create an in-house sales and marketing campaign, using low-cost or no-cost strategies.

Morning sessions were followed by a luncheon in the exhibitor’s room. Demonstrating products and services for the TAS/Call Center industry were Amtelco, represented by Tom Lindsay and Bob Bennett; Ron Kritzman of DB Masters; Ron Violante; Nancy Raftis of Startel; and Patty Anderson and Lindell Bates of Telescan.

Afternoon sessions opened with Trues Wheeler of Verizon Wireless, who provided insight on emerging wireless technologies, and how GLTSA member companies can benefit from wireless package offerings in today’s competitive telecom arena. Next Bob Denman of MessagePlex captured the audience with an exciting multi-media presentation on company branding using a well-developed website. Mr. Denman demonstrated the benefits and features of implementing a password-protected client page for message retrieval, which increases client satisfaction, decreases payroll, and raises business revenues. Afternoon sessions concluded with Dwayne King of Service Pricing Group, an industry veteran, who offered GLTSA members a program and practicesto consolidate business telephone accounts, effectively reducing monthly telephone company expenditures.

Evening festivities included a formal dinner in the Library Room, overlooking downtown Indianapolis from the 21st floor of the hotel. GLTSA members networked with friends from across the Midwest and Canada. Special thanks to our friends from Amtelco for sponsoring our happy hour cocktail party!

The Wednesday session highlights included an informative look at ATSI (the Association of TeleServices International), byATSI President Gary Tedrick, who outlined the role of ATSI in the industry for the upcoming year. Mr. Tedrick also discussed the positioning of regional associations in the overall industry landscape.

Joe Sameh of NeedMyDoctor demonstrated the role of the medical call center in helping to combat disease and in the prevention of bio-terrorism in today’s world. Mr. Sameh’s business model incorporates the creation and maintenance of a national database for physicians, healthcare providers, and patients to report illness and infections.

Special thanks to Kelli Robbins of Contact One Communications and to Tom Lindsay of Amtelco, for their help in the promotion and planning of the conference. Our success this year would not have been the same without them!

As with any convention, the attendees in Indianapolis made all the difference. New attendees turned out in full force, in addition to the familiar faces that come back year after year. The loyal attendance and consistent support of GLTSA members make the annual convention both a success and a homecoming.

The dates for next year’s conference have not yet been established. However, GLTSA is investigating facilities at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, OH for the 2005 convention.

Call 888-712-9396 for more information about GLTSA.

[From Connection Magazine Jan/Feb 2005]

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