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Friday, May 22, 2020

Broker Fair 2020: big, bold, virtual

Nonbank finance professionals won't have to travel to New York City for deBanked's third annual Broker Fair. On June 11, 2020, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors can immerse themselves in the live event from home offices and living rooms around the world. Designed for every sector of commercial finance, Broker Fair 2020 will include education, inspiration and networking opportunities, event organizers stated.

"We believe there will ultimately be a time when we can gather in person," said Sean Murray, chief editor and publisher at deBanked. "But in the interim, we're hosting a digital event that is different than any other. Our virtual world will have a real tradeshow floor where we can walk around, interact with avatars and post pictures, the same as we would at an on-site venue."

Murray went on to say that deBanked has always thought of ways to entertain its audience. "We owe it to our value chain to deliver an exceptional, immersive experience," he said, adding that the event will provide live polls, audio, video and text chat, while exploring trends in SBA and small business lending, factoring, merchant cash advance and equipment leasing.

Keynote line-up

Broker Fair originally focused on independent brokers, whom Murray described as hardworking professionals who facilitate billions of dollars in small business funding every year. The show expanded its base as it gained followers from other industry sectors, he noted. He cited the following agenda highlights to illustrate the show's broader focus and appeal:

  • Deal or No Deal: What's Ahead for Brokers: Industry leaders from National Business Capital & Services, The Watson Group, Lendio and United Capital Source will share insights on COVID-19's near-term and long-term effects on commercial finance and the economy. Speakers will answer audience questions about PPP implementation and strategies for succeeding in current economic conditions.

  • Brokers, Buds, and Small Business – Funding the Cannabis Industry: Experts from Upwise Capital, Circadian Funding and National Business Capital & Services will examine how the pandemic has affected sales and growth, how cannabis stands apart from other consumables, whether or not the underwriting processes differ, and what to expect after marijuana has gone from illegal to "essential."

  • NYC Fintech Women – The New Normal for Agile Finance: Female leaders from Ocrolus, Lendio, Picquet and Square will assess COVID-19's impact on credit reports, 30-day mortgages and extended underwriting processes, and new practices slated to become the new baseline for customer service and financial decisioning.

Energized base

Pre-event discussions reflect growing excitement among Broker Fair attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. Darren Schulman, president at 6th Avenue Capital, described the event as a unifier for the commercial lending community. "It's one of the few times where people who want to talk are all in one place," he said. "They can start relationships and further relationships and this show will provide the same opportunities."

Ken Peng, director of business development and marketing at Elevate Funding, added, "We've always had great experiences at all deBanked events. They're really the only events specific to the MCA industry and provide us the opportunity to see a large group of our existing partners all in one place, as well as speak with like-minded prospective partners. It has been wonderful to watch the conferences evolve not just with attendance, but with speakers and activities as well."

Andrew Hernandez, managing partner at Central Diligence Group LLC, agreed deBanked has organized great events over the years. Three months ago, no one had any idea that Broker Fair would be virtual. The deBanked team's rapid response to ongoing health concerns is worth a big round of virtual applause, he stated.

Hernandez further noted that standalone and hybrid virtual conferences offer value and engage people who would not otherwise be able to participate. "We like the idea of being able to connect and engage with people in a new way, and by deBanked capturing a wider audience via a virtual platform, we know that it will absolutely help us form relationships with people we may have not met otherwise," he said.

Broker Fair 2020 tickets are available now, but based on past shows, are likely to sell out. A two-for-one special gives participants the option to attend this year's virtual event and next year's on-site meeting on March 21, 2021, in New York City, according to event organizers. Additional information and registration details are available at www.brokerfair.org/register. end of article

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