AACFB Hosts First Virtual Conference

The American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers completed its first virtual conference last on Sept. 25.

The usual three day in-person format was dispersed 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 more than 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.

“We were very pleased with the activity level of attendees at our first virtual event.” Monica Harper, executive director of the AACFB, said. “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 12 months so they can view any sessions they missed and download session materials, which is a bonus of this virtual conference.”

The event provided educational programming and a virtual tradeshow, as well entertainment and opportunities to relax and network. Several days of the event began with yoga sessions. The first day was capped off with a few laughs from professional comedian, Marty Simpson. Wednesday’s Women in Finance Happy Hour was 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, which was dominated by Stephanie Hall from 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 Paul Burnham, immediate past president; Sheri Bancroft, past president; and Jim Phelps, former secretary/treasurer, were honored for their service on the AACFB board of directors. Harper also was 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. Roth’s wife, Carol, and daughter, Jodi, were present to accept the award on his behalf. The meeting concluded with an announcement by Cindy Downs, current AACFB president, who invited attendees to the 2021 AACFB Annual Conference scheduled to take place from April 21 to April 23 in Portland, OR, next year.

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