The 22nd IGA annual conference will take place on Thursday, 15 November 2018, at the Eurac in Bolzano. Topic: "An idea as a driving force for the future?" read more

5th Cooperative Convention, 15 November 2000 at Neustift Monastery near Brixen/South Tyrol

Top from left to right: Assessor Dr. Franco Panizza (Autonomous Region Trentino-South Tyrol, Simone Tarneller, Mathias Ampferer, Direktor Mag. Arnulf Perkaunigg, Direktor Rag. Konrad Palla).

Bottom from left to right: Dr. Wolfgang Vyslozil (APA) conversing with Commerical Councillor DDr. Hofinger (Cooperative Association Schulze-Delitzsch), Dr. Wilhelm Tauber, Dr. Wolfgang Vyslozil (Austrian Press Agency).

Approximately 120 attendants filled August Hall to capacity.

Two students from Innsbruck, Mrs. Simone Tarneller (South Tyrol) and Mr. Mathias Ampferer (Innsbruck) kicked off the event with exciting results of a study that IGA Association had asked them to conduct. Under the question “Membership in Cooperative Banks – Relic from a Bygone Age or Progressive Model for Customer Retention?” numerous customers of Raiffeisen Banks in North and South Tyrol had been asked in how far membership was or could be an advantage. It became quite clear that there was an “underdeveloped membership awareness” among our customers. Many did not even realise that it was possible to become member of Raiffeisen Bank. Apart from the very easy-going and entertaining presentation of their findings, the two undergraduates provided solutions that collectively targeted community spirit, the social component of membership. To achieve lasting customer retention it would of course be furthermore necessary to reward members with a pecuniary advantage.

This study will evolve into a diploma thesis, and will see publication in extracts spring 2001 in the “Cooperative Series” by the IGA Association.

Dr. Wolfgang Vyslozil, General Manager Austrian Press Agency (which is incidentally also a cooperative) treated the general theme from the perspective of procurement and supply, and elaborated on the availability of all kinds of information. Dr. Vyslozil declared his support for the cooperative form of organisation forthright, arguing that its innate ownership structure clearly allowed smaller recipients of information, such as small newspapers to retrieve information at an affordable price. This ensured freedom of press and opinion, according to Dr. Vyslozil.

Dr. Rainer Schaidnagel, Director Raiffeisen Bank Kempten concerned himself with customer retention models and promoted the concept of "banks as living marketplaces", which he had successfully implemented in Kempten. In a very attractive manner Director Schaidnagel pointed out the necessity to be “authentic” as Raiffeisen Bank. Not “imitation” but “originality” had to rank first, yet customers should by no means be overwhelmed or tricked by obscure technology. The elucidations provided by the speaker from Kempten hardly left any listener untouched and there were many thoughtful faces to behold during break.

Dr. Wilhelm Tauber, General Manager Dairy Farm Brixen, considered the general theme from the perspective of “Distribution of Goods and Services“. Dr. Tauber could not rule out conflict potential between owners acting as suppliers and investors doubling as clients. This was why close ties to cooperative members were the top priority to Dr. Tauber.

The presentation of a joint project by IGA Association, the autonomous region Trentino-South Tyrol and the EU to create an electronic library concluded the convention. Dr. Franco Panizza, Assessor for Cooperatives, Credit Affairs and Human Resources explained the details and underlined the good collaboration between North and South Tyrol.

Even during the guided tour through the Neustift Monastery of the Augustinian Canons near Brixen that followed the convention, discussions and conversations which had already begun over lunch were briskly carried on. Judging by feedback received from attendants, IGA Association concludes that the convention was a valuable contribution to a highly topical issue and once again raised awareness of the importance of member support.

At the end of this eminently interesting annual convention the organiser thanked the speakers and naturally the attendants of this event.

Without active participation in daily cooperative life, without objection to or presentations of proposals, or mindful consideration, cooperative work cannot be executed nor can an event succeed. Many thanks are due to the Neustift Monastery, in particular Prelate Giner and Mr. Florian Mair, who was responsible for arranging this exceptional venue.

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