Posted on September 15, 2022 by Brett
I’ve written before about the value of attending industry events in person whenever possible. Video conferences and webinars are certainly worthwhile ─ and cost-effective for the finance industry ─ but they don’t offer the spontaneous opportunities that arise when meeting face-to-face.
This fall I’m hoping to attend at least two conferences: the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association Annual Convention Oct. 9-11 in Marco Island, Florida, and the National Equipment Finance Association Funding Symposium Nov. 2-4 in Nashville, Tennessee. Also on the radar are events coming up for fintech lenders, merchant cash advance companies and banking professionals, since our commercial debt buying business serves these sectors in addition to equipment finance.
The cost and travel involved in attending can be considerable but, for companies that can budget this expense, I’ve found the experience more than pays for itself in ROI.
Before discussing the benefits of attending in-person, though, let me say a word of thanks for video conferences offered in our industry. They were critical in the early years of the Covid pandemic and continue to be.
Video conferences lower barriers to participation – namely costs, and physical constraints for professionals whose medical conditions, concerns or circumstances make travel too burdensome. Some video conferences even provide one-on-one networking “rooms,” along with the keynote addresses and educational content one expects at an industry event.
For all their value, though, video meetings fall short when compared to a well-planned, on-site conference.
Meeting in-person with other professionals in our industry is exciting, inspirational, and memorable. You will come away from the experience re-energized and overflowing with ideas for advancing your business. You’ll forge relationships that benefit you and your company and may even make life-long friends.
Did I mention dealmaking? While deals are struck in all kinds of ways these days, in-person conferences connect you with many influencers and decisionmakers in one spot. Some meetups occur on the fly while others are planned well in advance.
Last but certainly not least, many industry conferences include charitable events that encourage businesses to “give back” to the community. The ELFA’s community service projects this year for convention-goers include a “Save the Turtles”beach cleanup, and Build-a-Guitar event. NEFA’s Charity Axe Throwing event is another interesting option.
Consider participating in at least one of the charitable events planned at the fall finance conferences if you can. In recent years I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in the community service projects, which were fun and gratifying.
Brett Boehm is CEO for TBF Financial.
He can be reached at email@example.com, phone 847-267-0660 or via LinkedIn.