Energy and excitement at the Commercial Finance Expo21/06/2018
Yesterday Leasing World took one of over 130 stands at what the NACFB markets as the Commercial Finance Expo 2018 - a big complicated name for what is, in fairness, a big and complicated day.
We say “complicated” because at the Expo (as we’ll be calling it) you feel the need to be in three places at once. The Leasing World stand needed manning, because we launched the June issue of BrokerWorld at the event (and by the way, there will be a new Leasing World next week…). We wanted to visit most of the other exhibitors, including more than thirty connected to leasing and asset finance, as well as those who were dispensing free coffee. And thirdly, there were always conferences and "meet the expert" sessions.
BrokerWorld’s editor has worked at the NACFB in the past and noticed one thing right away - the wider aisles of the (new last year) venue. It meant that although the numbers of delegates were as high as ever (the NACFB suggests 1300+) there was breathing space in the hall, as opposed to 2015 when we remember being unable to walk down some aisles - like a cover bazaar at a closing-down sale. NACFB’s CEO Graham Toy drew us an analogy; “We’ve gone for a Tesco-style wide aisle!”
So far all we have done is describe the space and the schedule, but in doing so we have missed the point of the Expo which is, of course, its people. And the most interesting part of an event like this is how it looks and feels before it opens. Doors to delegates opened at 09:30, so we took a tour at 09:15 and would have assumed the Expo had already begun, such was the busy feeling and mingling of the exhibitors. On paper, these people may be rivals, but in practice, this was a vast hall full of friends.
In Leasing World’s juggling act attempting to be in three places at once, we were sorry to find the Asset Finance Meet the Expert session didn’t go ahead (we shall try to track down that presentation shortly) but we did make it along to the day’s last seminar, titled “The Changing Dynamics of the Lender/Broker Relationship”, which you’ll be able to read about in our magazines next month.
It would be remiss of us not to thank the NACFB for putting on an event that seems at once both ambitious and effortless, and while there are too many other exhibitors to give their due credit, we have to salute Aldermore and their addictive driving simulators attended in the morning by Jamie Chadwick, the F3 racing driver.
We regret missing the presentation by former soldier Ben McBean, who gave what was by all account a very powerful speech. But there were too many places to be and too many people to meet. We got some clue as to why when one lender representative told us, “It’s an event you can’t afford not to be at.”