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AACFB Hosts Successful First Virtual Conference

September 29, 2020, 07:15 AM
Related: AACFB, Conferences

The American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (AACFB) wrapped up its first virtual conference on Sept. 25 and by all accounts the event was a success. The 2020 AACFB Annual Conference was originally scheduled to take place in May at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV, but was forced to postpone and later move to a completely virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The usual three day in-person format was spread over five days to allow the 215 attendees to participate in more than 20 educational sessions as well as a Speed Dating segment, which introduced brokers to over a dozen funding sources and service providers. Attendees were able to meet face-to-face via video chat with 31 exhibitors during the virtual tradeshow, which was open for two hours each day of the conference. Attendees also had the opportunity to arrange one-on-one video chat meetings during the event.

AACFB Executive Director Monica Harper stated, “We were very pleased with the activity level of attendees at our first virtual event. The virtual sessions drew even higher attendance than some sessions at in-person events. I believe the accessibility of the platform and the ability of attendees to tend to work responsibilities while also participating in virtual education contributed to the high attendance of the sessions. Attendees will also have access to the virtual platform for the next twelve months so they can view any sessions they missed and download session materials, which is a bonus of this virtual conference.”

The event not only provided educational programming and a virtual tradeshow, but it also included entertainment and opportunities to relax and network. Several days of the event began with yoga sessions to help attendees relax and get focused for the day. The first day was capped off with a few laughs from professional comedian Marty Simpson who engaged attendees with his brand of self-deprecating humor. Wednesday’s Women in Finance Happy Hour was fun and informative as attendees were able to see some familiar faces and get acquainted with a few new ones while competing in a lively ‘80s trivia game dominated by Stephanie Hall with BankFinancial Equipment Finance. All attendees were able to earn points throughout the conference by participating in various activities, which positioned them on the conference leaderboard. The top 25 attendees on the leaderboard won door prizes donated by sponsors and exhibitors.

The virtual conference culminated in the Annual Business Meeting, where Immediate Past President, Paul Burnham, Past President, Sheri Bancroft, and former Secretary/Treasurer Jim Phelps were honored for their service on the AACFB Board of Directors. AACFB Executive Director Harper was also officially presented with the 2019 Leasing News Person of the Year Award by Shari Lipski with ECS Financial Services who attended the event on behalf of Leasing News. Burnham then presented the 2020 AACFB President’s Award posthumously to founding member Neil Roth with Key Credit Corporation. Roth’s wife, Carol, and daughter Jodi were present to accept the award on his behalf in a moving tribute.

The meeting concluded with an announcement by current AACFB President Cindy Downs, who invited attendees to the 2021 AACFB Annual Conference scheduled to take place April 21-23, 2021 in Portland, Oregon.

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