Want To Know What Went Down At USAA’s 2018 DigitalMilEx?

in Reviews & Random by Lacey Langford, AFC®

Heads up, this post is sponsored. FTC Disclosure: USAA was kind enough to invite me to attend their 2018 DigitalMilEx to learn more about their company. They paid for my delicious lunch and snacks and made sure my favorite drink, Diet Coke, was available. They probably didn’t get Diet Coke solely for me but that’s the story I’m telling. USAA also gave me some cool USAA swag. Even though they provided me with a delicious meal of food and gave me swag, this article is still my honest thoughts and opinions on USAA. USAA’s DigitalMilEx is one of those events that when you get the invite, you get a little giddy. Ok, or at least I do. This year the 2018 DigitalMilEx was held in Orlando, FL, following right after the Military Influencer Conference. USAA’s Digital Military Experience  A.K.A DigitalMilEx is a place for online influencers to learn about the insights and innovations USAA uses to bring value to their members. It’s filled with in-depth sessions, networking and activities to show us how USAA is leading the way to cover their members. It’s a chance to see behind the scenes. I’ve attended DigitalMilEx before but this year was different. It was a little shorter than the other two times I attended but they still packed in some good stuff. Getting to learn more about USAA up close and personal is pretty cool, I’m not going to lie. But I won’t rub it in either. Ok, maybe just a little bit. For you to really understand my experience I have to try to describe the vibe. Yes, you read that right, the vibe. Whenever I’m around a USAA team member there’s something there. Whether it’s interviewing or listening to a presentation or talking one-on-one with them, they always set the tone for any experience you have with them. At first, I thought they’re all just positive people. Or they’re all kind. Or they’re always prepared. There is just something there. Well, I’ve figured it out. It’s their culture. That’s just how they roll. I’ve said it before, they live by their mission:

“USAA’s mission is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates and their families by providing a full range of highly competitive financial products and services. In so doing, we seek to be the provider of choice for the military community. We do this by upholding the highest standards and ensuring that our corporate business activities and individual employee conduct reflect good judgment and common sense, and are consistent with our core values of: Service, Loyalty, Honesty and Integrity.”

Ok now that I’ve laid out the crucial part to this story, the vibe. Let me tell you about the rest of my experience.

USAA’s Catastrophe Planning & Response

USAA’s presentation from Mica Carawan, the Executive Director, Catastrophe Experience was timely and a little close to home for me. At the time, Hurricane Florence had just devastated the Carolinas. Thankfully, where I live in North Carolina wasn’t too bad but many others were not as lucky. Mica shared the news that USAA has been using text messages to reach members during disasters. I was one of those members. Right as the bands of Hurricane Florence were hitting my house, I received a message from USAA. And more recently another one as we were hit harder by Tropical Storm Michael. We received a message right as the trees were falling down around my house. 2018 DigitalMilEx USAA was making it easy in the chaos for my family to get assistance from them right away. A text message with a link to get help saves a USAA member valuable time during the aftermath of a disaster. I love this new service. But I want to remind you of another service USAA is still providing that I mentioned it last year, the Catastrophe Map. Members can use it to view damage to their home and surrounding areas. 

USAA’s Financial Preparedness

Sean Scatturo the Advice Director for Life and Health Insurance and JJ Montanaro the Military Affairs Relationship Director gave a much-needed reality check presentation on financial preparedness. In many natural disasters, people only have minutes to evacuate their homes. That fact isn’t something I’ve personally thought of or coached clients on. If you only had 5 minutes to leave your home and all of your possessions before a wildfire engulfed your home, what would you get? Are all your important papers in one place. Do you have a go bag with clothes for you and your children? Where are your social security cards? Birth certificates? Car titles? What I thought was powerful about this presentation is that not only is USAA helping cover you during and after a disaster, they are helping you make a plan before a disaster. That’s the kind of stuff USAA is doing for their members.

2018 DigitalMilEx Unconferencing

Unconferencing is one of my favorite parts of the 2018 DigitalMilEx experience. It’s a chance for me to talk shop with fellow military influencers. We talk about the best ways to bring financial literacy or knowledge to our readers or listeners. Basically how to improve our craft.  Best practices are always changing and the unconferencing gives me a chance to stay current plus learn what is upcoming.
 2018 DigitalMilEx

My Peak and Pit

The peak of my 2018 DigitalMilEx experience was the Catastrophe Planning & Response presentation. To hear how USAA is helping members when they need it the most was important to me personally. Not only am I a USAA member but so is every one of my family members. I love how easy they’re making it for their members to start getting insurance help as soon as disaster strikes. The pit of my 2018 DigitalMilEx experience was the timing. For me, the timing of the event was a little cra-cra. The event was condensed but it was in the middle of two big conferences I was attending so I feel like I wasn’t as present for the event as I could have been. I would have like to be more focused to learn a little more when I had the opportunity to talk to the sources. I had a great DigitalMilEx experience. Each time I’ve had the opportunity to attend I come away with so much. For me, this year was more personal given how the hurricane season has hit North Carolina. Moving forward I hope to create more content to help my followers to be more prepared for when life throws a natural disaster curve ball at them. signature