ORLANDO — The first networking event of a convention sets the tone for the entire event. Putting the attendees all in the same room and listening to the topics that are discussed and the tones that are used tell you just about everything you need to know about the state of the industry. Yesterday, ACA International opened its annual convention here with a cocktail reception in the exhibit hall. Vendors reported strong levels of traffic and inquiries from many new possible clients. But that traffic was tempered somewhat by attendees talking amongst one another about lower placement volumes and more difficulties getting in touch with consumers.
It’s as if the state of the industry matched the state of the economy — some bright spots, like strong employment figures, while the threat of a recession still looms as a possibility. Collecting debts is going to be more difficult in the coming months, but those who have been in the industry for any length of time have dealt with similar difficulties and lived to tell the tale.
Attendees at last night’s cocktail reception were excited to see new companies in the exhibit hall and new offerings from companies that were returning to the convention. New technology, especially offerings that incorporate artificial intelligence platforms, offer exciting opportunities to improve efficiencies and productivity.
Seeing friends and colleagues, whether for the first time since Ignite in March or last year’s Convention in Las Vegas or before the pandemic, many of the attendees enjoyed networking with their peers and catching up during the reception.
Today, attendees get to dive headfirst into the educational sessions, with an opportunity to attend 22 different sessions. Those sessions offer attendees the opportunity to address the post-Regulation F challenges they are facing in the areas of employee turnover and morale, credit reporting and collecting medical debt, advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels, and more.