The EPIC Global Franchise Meeting that Was

At the beginning of this year, Diners Club International® announced the location and dates of our Global Franchise Meeting (GFM). This is a time when the heads of our franchises convene from all corners of the world to share best practices and key developments in their markets.

My prediction at the time was that this gathering would be “EPIC”—a meeting packed with Engagement, Passion, Innovation and Collaboration. Indeed, from October 22-23, 2013 in Vienna, Austria, and with a record attendance of more than 100 participants representing over 30 franchises, this prediction became a reality.

Participants had an opportunity to share progress in a year that also held challenges. We reviewed key developments in the overall business, as well as from our regions — the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific — each of which held their own regional meetings over the past months.

We’ve embraced digital platforms and content to propel the EPIC trend around our brand, our clients and our business. Our global acceptance increased, we added many team members globally, and each region and market identified unique opportunities for growth.

We also heard from our franchise representatives:

Mr. Karl Kainzner, our exceptional host from Diners Club Austria, previewed expected growth in Europe through co-branded cards.

Mr. Yuedong Zhou from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) shared how the largest bank in the world expects to leverage Diners Club in 2014.

Mr. Parag Rao of HDFC Bank in India revealed a strategy to increase Diners Club acceptance and plans to own the corporate and affluent segments of India’s credit card market.

Mr. Andrew Irvine representing Diners Club North America highlighted an objective to expand corporate business over the next five years.

Mr. Marco Reverdito from Diners Club Japan detailed how they have designed a unique digital experience for their clubmembers.

Mrs. Limor Ganot and Mr. Doron Sapir from Diners Club Israel outlined what it takes for a successful, mature market turnaround and showcased their recent growth.

The GFM inspired collaboration, new objectives, and reinvigorated our network. Set in beautiful Vienna in an unseasonably warm October, all was not just work. Participants had the chance to sample wine when visiting an Austrian winery, attend a gala at the Liechtenstein Museum, as well as enjoy traditional delicacies like sacher torte (chocolate cake) and legendary Viennese coffee.

Next stop for the GFM? The great city of New Orleans in October 2014. We look forward to welcoming participants again for another EPIC meeting!