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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

NEAA cancels 36th annual conference

The Northeast Acquirers Association disclosed that it will not host its annual conference in Philadelphia from April 6 to 8, 2021, as originally planned. NEAA board members cited health and safety concerns due to the ongoing pandemic as key considerations.

"Canceling our annual conference this year was a tough decision, but we felt it was the only responsible decision to protect the health and wellness of our supporters and attendees," said Jenn Reichenbacher, NEAA board member and senior vice president, marketing, payment processing at Paysafe Group. "We’d love to potentially host a smaller one-day or half-day event later in the year, but time will tell if that will be possible."

Jim Fink, NEAA board member and director, strategic relationships at Rapid Finance, concurred, stating, "We will continue to work on our 2022 event and making that one the best in our 35-plus year history. We hope our friends, colleagues and supporters stay safe and thank everyone for their understanding during these unprecedented times."

Regional exemplar

As the payments industry's longest-running regional conference, the NEAA has set the tone for other regional events by providing a diverse mix of exhibits, keynote presentations, breakout sessions and panel discussions aimed at educating merchant acquiring professionals. The nonprofit association works closely with the Electronic Transactions Association and Southeast, Midwest and Western States acquirers associations.

"Depending where you live, each regional association offers a tremendous amount of information, networking opportunity, educational seminars and vendor exhibits," the NEAA stated on its website. "We encourage attendance and participation in our sister organizations if you are unable to make an NEAA event."

NEAA 2020, held Feb. 5 and 6, 2020, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, celebrated legacy companies as well as payments innovators and startups. Agenda topics included payment facilitation, cash discounts and surcharging, investment strategy, regulatory issues, emerging opportunities in cannabis and CBD, and credit card issuing for merchants. Speakers also addressed the elephant in the room by discussing how small and midsize acquirers can compete in a payments landscape dominated by big tech and mega mergers.

NEAA strong

NEAA president Alan Forgione credited volunteers and board of directors for the show's consistent year-over-year growth, noting their knowledge of industry issues, concerns and challenges keep agenda topics relevant and on-point in the everchanging payments sphere. Their contributions have made NEAA a "go-to organization for payments industry thought leaders, innovators, MLS veterans and MLS newcomers," he said.

Forgione further noted that the NEAA had designed a hybrid experience for the 2021 event by combining virtual and in-person elements to create a safe but impactful event for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. He added that NEAA will be reaching out to all individuals and organizations that had registered for the April 2021 conference.

"We will reach out individually to all those who have registered and/or signed up for exhibition or sponsorship in the coming weeks, so please be patient as we go through that process," the NEAA stated on its website. "We look forward to returning in 2022 with an incredible event to kick off the year."

For additional information and updates, visit northeastacquirers.com/.

end of article

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