As a first-time attendee at the 2017 International Association of Commercial Collections (IACC) conference held at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach, FL, last week (Jan 11-13th), I was very impressed with both the accommodations and the conference atmosphere. The IACC staff and other attendees were very welcoming.
The first event, the President’s Banquet and Annual Business Meeting, was a great way start the conference. President Greg Cohen of Caine & Weiner kicked off the event by welcoming the 20 first-time attendees, as well as members of law firms and collection agencies representing more than 11 countries outside the US. It was exciting to see such a diverse group of attendees at the conference.
Day-two offered sessions such as:
- Looking Through a Different Lens: A Creditors’ View of the Industry, with panelists William F. Balduino, Credit Research Foundation and Rocky Thomas, CCE, J.J. Haines & Company LLC, and Past Chair—National Association of Credit Management. The moderator was attorney Wanda Borges of Borges & Associates, LLC. This panel offered insight on collections from a creditor’s perspective. Participants agreed that educating creditors is a definite value-add to the relationship. “Communicate and educate best practices to set-up the client for success.”
- Develop Response Ability – Secrets to Getting Email Replies, presented by Karen Purves, M.A., Innovative Impact. This was one of my favorite sessions. Karen offered tested tips and tactics for getting the best response rate to emails. Whether you are an attorney, agency, creditor or law list, we all market ourselves and want to get our emails read. Karen offered insight on ways for each one of us to be more successful in communicating with potential clients and prospects.
- Employment Law Primer, a very informative session, was presented by Christopher G. Morris, of Counsel, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. Chris shared information regarding The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and how these affect businesses today. He told us things to consider when and if we may have a situation that arises because of one of these employment laws.
- Hot Topics in the Commercial Collection Industry was the final session. It gave all attendees the opportunity to ask questions and/or get feedback on concerns or struggles they may have. One bit of advice I heard repeatedly from both attorneys and agencies was “Communication is key! Be specific when communicating, whether it’s when requesting court costs, asking for documentation, etc. If you aren’t sure–ask. Setting up both sides for success is important!”
Also, between the sessions, sponsors and vendors were introduced to the attendees. Each gave a quick 2-minute introduction to the services they provide within the industry. This was a great way to get to know the vendors.
Although the conference was short in length, it provided many great opportunities for networking and connecting with agencies, vendors and law firms. I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend on behalf of National List and be part of this great group of people.
I highly recommend attending future IACC events, with the next one being the joint IACC/CLLA Mid-Year Collection Conference, held July 14 to 16th, 2017, at the Motif Seattle.
Leslie Opp | VP of Member Services
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