by Alex Palmer | February 21, 2017
This spring, merchants, technology providers, and planners using gift cards in incentive programs will have a new opportunity to gather, learn about what's new in the industry, and discuss best practices: the inaugural Flourish: The Growth of Branded Currency conference, taking place April 10-12 in Omaha, NE. 

The organizers of the event emphasize that it aims to give center stage to a part of the industry that often gets sidelined.

"As an industry, we go to these larger conferences and the branded currency aspects -- gift cards, promotional value and points, and the hardware and software that goes in to making them successful -- get tacked on," Flourish's cofounder, Holly Glowaty, told Incentive. "The goal here is to have a really robust conversation around all this, and amplify what people are doing in this space."

The conference will feature an all-day networking meeting hall as well as a keynote from Kate Vitasek, financial researcher and author of numerous books, including Vested: How P&B, McDonald's, and Microsoft are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships on the topic "The New Economics of Commerce." Education sessions and panels cover topics such as "The Cross-Pollination of Gift Card and Affiliate Marketing," "Branded Currency is the Way to Grow," and "Connecting Brands to People."

One of the major themes that will be explored in-depth throughout the conference is gift card security and how to prevent fraud. 

"When we asked merchants and associations what they wanted to talk about at the conference, 'Fraud' was the number one issue," said Glowaty. "We're going to discuss the issues from where it can start, what are the tactics and how even companies with no budget can get themselves protected."

More information about the Flourish conference and its schedule can be found at the event website.