AACFB Welcomes Back In-Person Attendees to Annual Conference

by Monitor Staff Vol. 48 No. 7 2022
The American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers held its first in-person event in two years this past September, hosting its 2021 Annual Conference in Nashville, TN. The event, which featured options for in-person and virtual attendees, provided networking opportunities and education for first-timers, veterans and everyone in between.

From the moment attendees arrived at the Grand Hyatt Nashville to last call at the closing “Happy Hour and a Half,” the 2021 Annual Conference of the American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers did not disappoint. This much anticipated event was the first in-person event for the AACFB in two years and everyone involved was excited to see it happen.

The brand-new Grand Hyatt Nashville was a spectacular venue to host the long-awaited return to in-person conferences this past September. Located just a short walk from an entertainment district filled with the live music, local cuisine and historical landmarks of the Music City, the Grand Hyatt was perfectly situated in the heart of it all, as Nashville was ready to welcome back conference goers just like the AACFB.

Making it Happen with Hybrid

With COVID-19 still a major concern, the conference looked a bit different this year. Meeting rooms and meal functions were set for social distancing. The use of hand sanitizer and masks was highly encouraged, and attendees were provided stickers that allowed them to indicate their comfort level with social contact. For those in attendance, individuals were given the option of attending breakout sessions either in person or via the conference mobile app, which livestreamed the presentations. Those unable to attend in person were also able to register and view livestreamed sessions in real time or view the recordings later. The hybrid experience was a first for the AACFB and just another example of the association’s willingness to be flexible and accommodating to attendee needs.

Welcoming Atmosphere

While some aspects of the conference had to be adjusted, the most important elements remained intact. Seeing attendees’ eyes light up when they saw familiar faces coming through the exhibit hall was priceless. Since the AACFB has been around for 30 years, many business relationships and friendships have been made and nurtured over the years through interactions at the conferences. This was apparent throughout the event, as industry veterans not only got reacquainted with one another but paid it forward by introducing themselves to the scores of newcomers just starting their journey in commercial finance. Hospitality and inclusiveness have been the hallmarks of AACFB events for decades and it is part of what keeps attendees coming back year after year.

Navigating the Future

While the 2021 AACFB Annual Conference was focused on celebrating the association’s 30-year anniversary, the AACFB is already hard at work planning for its 2022 Annual Conference, which is scheduled for May 11 to May 13 in Charlotte, NC. There will once again be top industry and professional speakers on hand to impart knowledge and answer questions as well as ample opportunities to network and connect with fellow attendees. Just as they did this year, conference goers will return home with valuable takeaways and connections that allow them to get more deals funded and recharge their enthusiasm for the commercial finance industry.

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