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6th Annual Istanbul Call Center Conference & Expo

I just returned for the 6th annual Istanbul Call Center Conference and Expo and It was a very good event. The travel to and from was much less good…nothing like 4 hours in Heathrow Terminal 5.

The event put on by IMI Conferences was first class. There were about 300 attendees, 25 or so exhibitors and a suite of International speakers, including yours truely. Meltem Karateke (President of IMI Conferences) and her team did a great job organizing the event. The schedule was maintained, the food, venue and organization was very good. They keep their speakers on schedule and well organized in terms of travel both to Turkey as well as to the venue (the Conference Center).
The speakers were universally good with themes of “Extreme Customer Satisfaction” and ‘Customer Experience). It was really refreshing to get away from the habit in the US of featuring speakers who have paid for the privilege or have paid to have the clients shill for them in case studies, and hear from experts educating rather than selling.

Colin speaking at Istanbul Conference

The event was unique each day opened with one of the finalists for the ‘Most Talented Call Center Award’ here is a link to a bit of the second runner up act.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Turkish Call Center industry here are a few interesting facts from the October 2010 Karya Research Report:
* There are more than 1000 call centers in Turkey,
* There are over 41,000 agent positions
* The annual growth rate is 18.9%
* The market size is estimated at $1 billion with 45% of this market served by outsource firms,
* 52% of Agents are 18-24 years old
* Almost 40% of agents are university graduates
* The largest sectors are Telecom and Finance
* The fastest growing sector is the public sector which grew 47% in the past year

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