by Alex Palmer | February 07, 2017
The Gift Card Network (GCN), the Vancouver, WA-based online community for the gift card industry, has announced the launch of a new networking event in 2017. GCN: Catalyst aims to provide gift card merchants in both the B2B/incentive and consumer spaces with an opportunity to learn about the latest gift card technology while meeting and learning from one another face-to-face.

Taking place May 18 in Chicago, it falls one day after the organization's Gift Card University (GSU), a two-day educational event of training sessions and panels, launched last year. The new GCN: Catalyst aims for more of tech-focused program, providing attendees with the chance to learn about emerging technologies and products in the gift card space. Among the topics covered at GSU this year will be "In Store, Online, and B2B Sales Channels" and "Legal Best Practices." The Gift Card Network emphasizes that this will provide a crosspollination between newcomers to the industry as well as veterans, each with a perspective and useful knowledge to share. 

"This is the kind of event we've been talking to our members about for a while, and we have some really fun and interesting plans for it," said Matt Davies, founder of GCN. "Co-locating GCU and Catalyst allows us to give the benefit of education to those who need it, while allowing industry veterans to get access to the fresh ideas and energy from newer people, and work together on building the future of gift."

The new event expands GCN's range of services and offerings for those in the gift card market. These include a Merchant Best Practices Forum as well as Vendor Forum (where members of both groups discuss challenges and ways to improve their programs), and printed products such as The B2B Guide, offering general insights for those running incentive or other enterprise-focused gift card programs.