CU Water Cooler Symposium

September 11-12, 2014 • Austin, Texas

Join us for the 5th annual CU Water Cooler Symposium—a must-attend credit union experience held annually in the fall

Robert Oxoby, 2013 Symposium

Shari Storm, 2013 Symposium

Brent Dixon, 2012 Symposium

The CU Water Cooler Symposium is a different kind of credit union event 

We care about content and conversations. We put together styles, speakers and topics that other events won’t touch. We’re respectful, yet challenging. We’re independent, yet collegial. We’re fun and serious at the same time. We created the CU Water Cooler Symposium not as a competitor to existing events, but a brand new approach to credit union events. The industry has responded kindly. As we prepare for our 5th annual event in the Fall of 2014, we encourage you to attend. 

We believe that this is the most modern, inspirational, and collaborative event in credit unions. We pick venues that are limited to about 150 attendees. The audience is a real mix—a few CEOs, mostly VPs and directors, and a few specialists and coordinators. They’re from all parts of the credit union—marketing, IT, operations and HR. Plus, there are always a handful of progressive consultants and technology vendors. In 2013, we had attendees from 29 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. Everyone who attends is extremely open-minded, positive and tuned in.


Tickets will be sold in three waves. Get in early, save your spot and your cash!

Cancellation policy
All ticket purchases are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to future events. If you cannot attend the Symposium this year, you can transfer your registration to another person for CUWCS 2014 only.

Credit union employee? You're eligible for a $100 discount! Enter cuemployee.

Speakers and agenda

Two days of top-notch speakers await

We are presenting an agenda filled with fresh topics and thought-provoking talent. The line-up includes a mix of our editors and invited guests and, as always, we guarantee that each speaker will have something unique and interesting to share.

You can speak too!

In addition to our editors and guest speakers taking the stage, we've added something new this year called PechaKucha. PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. There are six PechaKucha speaking slots available for our attendees. If you are coming to the Symposium and think you've got something interesting to share, submit your idea today. The deadline to submit is June 30.


The venue and travel

According to Time Magazine, The Alamo Drafthouse is "the best theater ever" 

We've all been to too many conferences in beige hotel conference rooms, sitting on uncomfortable stacking chairs, looking at crappy little screens, listening to awful sound and eating rubber chicken. We feel strongly that where we hold the annual CU Water Cooler Symposium is as important as who's on the agenda—that's why we're super excited to be hosting this year's event at the legendary Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. It's a single-screen movie theater called The Ritz.

The Ritz was built in 1929 and has a long and storied past. It started as a western movie house and, over the years, the Ritz morphed into a punk rock venue featuring the likes of the Dead Kennedys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Since 2007, it's been home to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The Alamo Drafthouse has been hailed as "the best theater ever" by Time Magazine, and "the coolest movie theater in the world" by Wired Magazine

Sounds like a perfect backdrop for talking about tech, trends and credit unions! The convenient location is right in the heart of downtown Austin and 15 minutes from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Planning your trip

For those traveling by plane, there is no need to rent a car. There are plenty of hotels within walking distance. Entertainment and dining options are also a short walk away. Grab a cab to and from the airport and you'll be set!

Special rate at the Marriott

We've arranged a block of hotel rooms at the Marriott Austin Downtown for our attendees at a rate of $179 per night, which includes breakfast for one person. The cutoff date for reservations at the negotiated contracted rate is August 19, 2014. Please make your reservations by this date if you want to take advantage of the negotiated rate. Please note that Austin is very busy during our time there, so we recommend making reservations soon. Reservations can be made by individual attendees through this special link.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, The Ritz
320 E 6th Street, Austin, Texas


Lodging alternatives

Marriott not for you? There are a bunch of other hotels within a short walk. Head over to Austin Tourism for a complete list or hit up Airbnb to find a bed.

Our sponsors

Title sponsors

Currency is a leading integrated marketing agency for credit unions. Currency's marketing programs, including Young & Free and Money Mom, drive product sales and deliver ROI.


6th Story is dedicated to helping cooperatives, especially credit unions, realize their potential through the sixth cooperative principle: cooperation among cooperatives. Our combined years of expertise exceeds the number of years credit unions have been in existence.

Presenting sponsors

CU*Answers, a 100% credit union-owned CUSO, offers expertise in implementing technical solutions to operational needs, and is a leader in helping credit unions form strategic alliances and partnerships. Serving credit unions across the country for more than 40 years with their flagship CU*BASE® core processing system and a cooperative business model.


Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union and its family of companies provide quality investment, lending and payment services, including ACH, share draft and electronic bill payment. Mid-Atlantic Corporate develops services with our member in mind, and delivers them with the kind of accountability, consideration and responsiveness our members expect—and deserve.

Supporting sponsors

Card Analysis Solutions founder, Ondine Irving, has been providing credit union card portfolio solutions to our nation's credit unions since 2003. Over 500 credit unions have benefited from training, audits and overall guidance with their credit card portfolios. #GoCUCards!

Sponsorship opportunities

Presenting sponsors

There are 12 presenting sponsor spots available. Your sponsorship package includes:

  • Seven-minute rapid fire demo
  • Three-minute speaker introduction
  • Opportunity to win one of two Best of Show awards
  • Two attendee passes
  • Mentions from stage
  • Inclusion on slides and T-shirt
  • Two Symposium T-shirts


Supporting sponsors

Your sponsorship package includes:

  • One attendee pass
  • Mentions from stage
  • Inclusion on slides and T-shirt
  • One Symposium T-shirt


Want to sponsor?

Drop us an email if you are interested in learning more.

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