The NARCA 2017 Spring Conference was held at the beautiful J.W. Marriot in Grand Lakes, Orlando, FL. It was packed with opportunities for education and to network and hold meetings in the hotel’s open lobby and beautiful patios around the pools. This was one of the most “family attended” conferences that I’ve been to, and that gave a more laidback vibe to the conference. It was nice to be able to meet the families of our members and clients.
I had a packed schedule, with over 50 individual meetings with clients, attorneys, and friends of the industry. These meetings gave me valuable one-on-one time with NL clients, future clients, members and industry friends. They offered valuable information about the industry and their individual needs. Whether it was a 10-minute meeting or a meeting over a meal, meetings like this are essential to the growth of the customized services NL can offer to members, clients, and our industry.
There was still much talk about compliance, but it seems that we have worked together to help one another grow and prepare ourselves to meet the industry requirements to which we must conform. I learned that many of our firms are continuing to expand into new territory, based on their client’s needs, and they need us to assist with introductions to meet out-of-state firms that they can trust and that will meet their needs.
One of my favorite NARCA events is always the PWCI get-together that I help organize each conference. The PWCI (Professional Women in the Collections Industry) kicked off the conference with our cocktail hour (every conference, Wednesday evenings 5-6 pm). It brings women from all areas of the industry together to casually network while enjoying a glass of wine. This conference the event was hosted by RNN Group. They talked about The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. It was a relaxing gathering with amazing women. There are no requirements to be a member; just join us for a great opportunity to network in a casual setting with fellow women in the industry. (Join us in DC at the NARCA conference or in Seattle for the CLLA/IACC PWCI event on the commercial industry side).
Education sessions ranged from Attorney Practicum, Business Practices, Compliance, Defense, Ethics, Operations and General Sessions. Attendees had a variety of educational sessions to choose from. My favorite session was one that I spotted on the agenda long before I landed in Orlando, “Survivor: Baby Boomers vs. Millennials and Parents vs. Kids.” The Panel consisted of baby boomers and millennials who offered open conversation about trends from each and how these trends have impacted our industry. The panel consisted of Louis Freedman (Blitt & Gaines, PC), Brandley and Ronald Canter (The Law Offices of Ronald S. Canter, LLC), Adam Cleveland (Thompson & O’Brien), William C. Hicks (Messerli & Kramer, PA), and Maria Lewis (Kohn Law Firm, S.C.)
It was fascinating to hear from baby boomers on their expectations in the work environment and the communication gaps between them and millennials. I only wish that we had the opportunity to further discuss the differences between the generations and expand it into the collections process. We only got to touch a little on the fact that millennials want communication via text/email vs. phone conversation or mail, but text/email can be a very scary way to legally collect debt, and many aren’t comfortable doing it that way.
What are your thoughts on millennials vs. baby boomers in the industry? Is it surprising to hear that 75 percent of our workforce will be millennials in less than ten years? As a hiring manager, I am constantly worrying about keeping our staff happy, and I see large differences between what baby boomers want vs. millennials. I’ll have to continue my education on this subject to be proactive.
To round out the conference we ended our meetings Friday evening at Sea World; where NARCA was able to get Sea World to open up a portion of their facility for NARCA attendees and their families, only. We played with dolphins, touched manta rays, rode the insane Manta rollercoaster, and played carnival games throughout the evening. It was a fun way to end the conference with good friends in the industry. I’ve included a picture of Scott Hoffman from Harvest Strategy Group and myself holding the tail of our dolphin friend. Such an incredible event – and a great way to end the conference!
Please share your thoughts with me and our readers on this topic and on other things you learned at the Spring NARCA Conference by making a comment below. Or if you’d like more information about this conference or any conferences that the NL team attends, feel free to reach out to me directly.
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