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Debt Collection Forum Creator Shares Insights Into This Year’s Conference

The 2017 Debt Collection Forum is scheduled for next month in Nashville, Tenn. The DCF is different from most conferences in that it was started by a collection agency executive — Nick Jarman. Jarman has recently left his job at an agency and is now working as a consultant running RightAway Consulting. He shared his insights into this year’s conference, what separates the DCF from other events, and why an inadvertent stroll past the TV one day led to this year’s keynote speaker.
Why did you start the Debt Collection Forum?
The Debt Collection Forum was started because we saw an opening in the marketplace and decided to fill the void. There were numerous events throughout the year but some of them had lost their way. Some events became more about money, number of exhibitors, exotic locations, and pandering rather than being about the quality and content of the education and the benefits received by the attendee. When the Debt Collection Forum was started we were committed to putting together a best-in-class experience for the attendee as well the exhibitor and sponsors but not in spite of the integrity of the Forum and last year we did just that. The event received raved reviews and there were so many first time attendees because they could afford it because of the cost and the exhibitors were stoked about just how many leads they received as well. What it boiled down to was we wanted an event that we wouldn’t hesitate sending several of our team members with and since we couldn’t identify one with the content and cost being reasonable, the DCF was born. All in all, those are some of the main reasons why the Debt Collection Forum was created.
What is it about the DCF that separates it from other conferences? 
The tag line says it all, “A Forum For Debt Collectors, By Debt Collectors.” We spend a lot of time, effort, and energy focused on the hot topics and pain points of the day for the ARM industry and then construct the sessions and ultimately the agenda. All of the sessions are created exclusively for the Debt Collection Forum which is unique as well. Once we formalize the agenda, the next step is to recruit and sign up the best group of speakers possible from across the country. So the biggest differentiator from other conferences is the dedication and strategy that is put forth to ensure we have the best lineup of sessions and speakers possible. The second biggest differentiator if cost. It was important when setting the price for Debt Collection Forum that it be set at a price point that was affordable to small, mid, and large size organizations alike and that is just what we did. At a cost of $575, it allows for organizations to not just send one, but multiple attendees for the same price they would pay for other conferences.
What are you most excited about at this year’s event? 
There are several. The first is our keynote speaker Inky Johnson. I remember back in October of last year walking by the TV and I heard him talking and I stopped in my tracks. I rewound the segment and told my wife, Joani, whatever we have to do I want him as our keynote, and we got him. Secondly is the location, Nashville, TN. Our industry for some reason has shied away from Nashville but it is such a beautiful city and for us to be able to hold our event there is just awesome. I am super excited about our agenda as always because all of the sessions are customized exclusively for the Debt Collection Forum which makes it even that much more important for individuals to attend. Lastly, we have a HUGE announcement to make at the Debt Collection Forum and I am super excited about the announcement and how beneficial first- and third-party debt collectors are going to be because of the HUGE announcement.
There is a lot of regulatory uncertainty about the future of the CFPB and how a new presidential administration will affect the industry. How are you addressing these topics at the DCF? 
We actually have two sessions with Trumps’s name in it: Trump and the CFPB and Trump, Pai, and TCPA. Over half of the sessions are focused on addressing this in some capacity. We know it is a highly discussed and concerned subject and want to ensure our speakers provide the necessary context in each area as it relates to CFPB, TCPA, FDCPA, FCRA, and many court opinions.
What can industry professionals who attend this year’s event expect to walk away with? 

They can expect to walk away with what we demand of our speakers, ACTIONABLE SOLUTIONS. The singular piece of advice I can give to all attendees is to get your notepad and pen ready because the information and insight will be flowing. Each speaker is required to ensure their presentation is focused on real-world scenarios and that they provide ACTIONABLE SOLUTIONS.

What is the most important question that attendees should be asking as they walk into the conference?
The first thing they should do is give themselves kudos for attending because it proves they are a great decision maker. As for a question they should ask as they walk into the Forum would be how they can engage before and after sessions with speakers in order to get the most out of their DCF experience.

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