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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

SEAA 2020 draws over 700—and counting

Necessity brought unexpected benefits to the Southeast Acquirers Association this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, event organizers reinvented the organization's annual conference and expo, originally scheduled for May 2020 in Miami. The new event, which took place virtually on June 15 and 16, not only drew record numbers of attendees, but it is also still live. Many of the presentations and demos remain available to those who attended the virtual gathering, as well as to those who register after the fact, event organizers stated.

“We want to thank our over 700 attendees and valued sponsors for joining us for the SEAA 2020 virtual conference,” said Derek Vowels, director of partnerships at Aliaswire and SEAA board member. “While we would have loved to produce the live show in Miami, the virtual sessions made it possible to use all of the content and hard work already invested by speakers, exhibitors and sponsors, and SEAA board and advisory committee.”

Vowels pointed out that the content will be available on the SEAA's virtual portal until May 2021. Anyone who registered can return to the portal and log in to view any presentation or demonstration. Interested payments professionals who missed the live broadcast can still register and watch all of the recorded material, he stated.

Timely topics

John McCormick, an SEAA founder and board member, pointed out that the conference agenda was designed to cover current challenges facing merchants, service providers and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) during the coronavirus pandemic. Following are some examples:

  • What’s trending in 2020 panel
  • examines ways that small businesses can leverage payfac, surcharging, AI and big-data solutions.

  • Customer expectations in the digital revolution
  • focuses on defining customer expectations and what customers want now and how concept meets reality to drive your business.

  • How ISOs can ensure success in 2020 and beyond:
  • addresses how ISVs can create new revenue streams by providing a seamless customer experience and reduce churn. Payments professionals can partner with SaaS providers to become more consultative.

  • Credit card issuing for ISOs:
  • shows ISOs how to become one-stop providers to small and midsize businesses by becoming credit card issuers and earning interchange revenue while providing a valuable services.

  • Merchant attrition and the future of retention:
  • analyzes historical patterns and merchant behaviors, identifying deviations and potential problems, and demonstrating how predictive analytics can be used to solve merchant attrition.

Next year in Florida

McCormick additionally noted that the record attendance affirmed that the payments industry is ready to get back to business and that MLSs are especially eager to help customers reopen. While a virtual event can never replace the fun, excitement and networking opportunities of a live show, we see potential for digital and video to enhance future shows, he stated.

“We approached the virtual show with two goals in mind: provide an avenue to present all the great material that had already been prepared for the Miami show and evaluate the software for future use as a tool to archive presentations for review during the year following a given show,” McCormick said. “We learned that live broadcasting can be challenging, but the software can be a great tool for storing archived presentations for later viewing.”

Vowels agreed, stating, “While virtual was a great experience, I know I am not alone in saying I cannot wait to see everyone in person. We look forward to bringing the industry together again at our next live show." The 20th Anniversary SEAA Conference is now set to take place at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla., on Mon., May 24, 2021.

Access to SEAA 2020 will remain open through May 2021. To dive in, visit SEAA Virtual Portal Registration, www.allintheloop.com/seaa.html, and SEAA Virtual Portal Home, www.allintheloop.net/App/seaa/seaaSEAA2020. end of article

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