ACA International’s annual convention wrapped up Friday in Chicago, and even with a hellish experience getting home, the event was one of the best conferences I have been to in recent years. Kudos to ACA for not being afraid to try some new things while also sticking with what has worked in the past. Here are some random musings.
- Cornerstone’s Joel Blackburn stole the show at the first annual Pitch Slam, breaking out a guitar and sunglasses to sing about his company’s licensing services to the tune of “All by Myself.” CollaborationRoom.ai’s Jason Hiland won the event with a poem about remote work.
- A great keynote on Friday morning from Betsy Ziegler of 1871, a tech incubator based in Chicago. Technology is changing the world faster than we can keep up but we need to keep pace or risk falling too far behind.
- Brian Watkins had some great advice about dealing with plaintiff’s lawyers and the importance of establishing relationships with them. Doing so has saved his agency a lot of money he said during his presentation.
- Loved Heath Morgan and John Bedard using ChatGPT live during their session on Thursday. Showing people what the site can do is a great way to get people to understand just how impressive it is.
- Thanks to the team at Repay and to Halsted Financial Service’s Pran Navanandan for going above and beyond in Chicago.
- Collecting debt is going to get harder in the months and years to come. Creditors are holding on to accounts longer and working them harder before sending them to collections, and the end of the student loan moratorium is likely going to mean less disposable income for consumers to pay down old debts. And dealing with “I don’t have to pay that anymore because it’s not showing up on my credit report” is a statement that will be heard throughout medical collection operations for the foreseeable future. But despite these challenges, those at the convention were excited for what the future has in store for the industry.
- Looking forward to seeing you next year in San Diego!