Come Together, Right Now: Industry Associations Tackle 2019
by Various January/February 2019
In the spirit of our own year-long rebrand and modernization efforts, Monitor has invited four industry associations and their leaders to share what they’re looking forward to, what they’re changing and what new projects and events they will be tackling in 2019.
The AACFB never slows down. Its board and staff are always looking for ways to deliver new opportunities to its members. 2019 proves to be a busy year for the organization with its new initiatives as well as its annual conference right around the corner.
The 2019 AACFB Annual Conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will be here before you know it: May 2-4. This large conference brings commercial finance brokers together with the leading funding sources and service providers in the industry.
This year’s theme is “Win Big” with a focus on attracting vendor business, learning the value of cyber security and speeding up the approval process. And back by popular demand: Speed-Dating with Funding Sources, the Women in Leasing Luncheon and the AACFB Annual Golf Tournament.
Also on the horizon is the launch of the new education initiative for AACFB members, which includes, among other things:
A quarterly educational spotlight in AACFB ‘s industry publication, Commercial Break
CLFP accreditation preparation in partnership with CLFP at the annual conference
“Build Your Own Portfolio,” a monthly webinar series
Valuable tips for brokers on AACFB’s educational YouTube channel
Access to the new online community for discussions on educational topics
AACFB has also added new membership benefits, including access to Hotel Engine for savings on business travel accommodations.
In 2018, the AACFB presented its inaugural Commercial Financing EXPO in Dallas, TX. The new format offered expanded educational sessions and exhibit time along with a unique opportunity to connect broker members to a wide variety of funding sources.
The 2019 AACFB Commercial Financing EXPO promises even more for its members. It will be held at the prestigious Orlando Gaylord Palms Resort on September 19-20, with sessions focusing on a diverse range of topics such as factoring, SBA loans, A/R funding, P/O financing, supply chain financing, working capital and more!
We are excited to announce our 2019 NACLB 5th Annual Conference this year will be held in Las Vegas on October 4-6.
NACLB is the largest gathering of commercial loan brokers in the country with attendance of close to 900 attendees at last year’s conference. NACLB 5 will be another record breaker as we secured our largest venue to date in preparation for over 1,000 brokers and over 120 lenders.
This year, our panelists and speakers will address industry trends that affect brokers and also focus heavily on regulation and licensing, which continues to be a growing and ever-changing topic. We will also have a first-ever marketing roundtable session during registration day on October 4, which all attendees are encouraged to join.
Since business development seems to always be a hot topic for both lenders and brokers, various digital marketing finance experts will host our first-ever roundtable discussion to give insight on what’s working to generate business in our industry.
The conference will have lender and bank exhibitors covering areas in finance such as equipment leasing, SBA loans, merchant cash advance, alternative lending, commercial real estate lending, fix and flip financing, project financing, unsecured lending, factoring, asset based lending, CMBS loans and bridge and hard money lending.
I am honored to serve as ELFA Chairman this year and look forward to working together with the board of directors, the member volunteers and the staff to advance the critical work of the association. We will be focusing on a number of important priorities in 2019.
In the aftermath of the midterm elections, ELFA’s federal advocacy team is meeting with new members of Congress to educate them about the importance of our industry to the economy and to the businesses in their districts. In addition, our state advocacy team is on the ground in state capitals defending member interests. We encourage members to participate in Capitol Connections, our biggest advocacy event of the year, in Washington, D.C. on May 15.
We are in a time of rapid technological change, so the ELFA board recently established a Technology Innovation Work Group to monitor, analyze and understand the impact of new technologies—from automation to blockchain to artificial intelligence—on our industry and member businesses. It is critical that we, as an industry, continue to innovate, to be entrepreneurs and to be creative in helping our companies grow. We are excited to share more information about this initiative in the year ahead.
The ELFA board recently added language to the ELFA mission statement and strategic plan emphasizing the need for “new and diverse talent.” In the year ahead, we are focused on attracting new talent to the industry and cultivating greater diversity within our association and the industry overall. As part of this effort, the ELFA Women’s Council is working to increase the participation and leadership of women across ELFA and the industry. The Emerging Talent Advisory Council is working to encourage new and diverse industry professionals to get involved early in their careers.
Our association is fortunate to have an incredibly active and engaged membership, and we are focused on offering resources to help members succeed, from advocacy work to survey and equipment finance data to educational seminars, conferences and workshops.
Top of mind issue this year includes understanding where the economy is headed. It has been doing well lately, but the stock market has been quite volatile, causing some to rethink their positions. The real estate market has softened and new construction has slowed down. While overall employment has been quite high, many companies are struggling to find scarce available talent. This will, in turn, likely push up expenses.
A lingering question now is: what will the impact of the 35-day government shutdown be? It will likely have a downward impact on the economy, slow spending and cause government and government-influenced services to be delayed.
Fintech will continue to push most of us to spend more money on systems and efficiency improvements. This has an overall positive impact but may strain capital resources.
Meanwhile, NEFA will continue to grow and develop its deliverables in 2019, with two national conferences scheduled. We are expecting a record crowd based on sign ups to date at the National Equipment Finance Summit in March in Newport Beach. We will also again host our annual Funding Symposium in October in Atlanta. The emphasis will be placed on valuable networking opportunities, exchanging key information in breakout groups and professionalism.
We also will have many regional events including a new social event in the New York area, ice-fishing on Lake Minnetonka, the Annual Crab Feast in June in Baltimore and plenty of baseball games around the country — a great time to network and enjoy America’s favorite pastime!
Our aim is to help our members build their businesses. We are a tight knit community that reaches out to help each other.