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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Fresh focus, ideas define SEAA 2022

The Southeast Acquirers Association returned to Transaction Alley for its 21st annual conference, held June 13 to 15, 2022, at Lowes Midtown Atlanta. SEAA board member Derek Vowels said more than 1,200 people attended.

"The breakout sessions were packed, and the crowd thoroughly enjoyed our keynote speaker, Erik Qualman, a best-selling author and popular speaker," Vowels said. "On behalf of the SEAA board, I want to thank all of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for making SEAA 2022 one for the record books."

Vowels, who serves as director of partner solutions at Aliaswire, recalled that Qualman's keynote and other SEAA presentations illuminated new ways to transact and lead in the digital world. In addition, SEAA debuted the John Yarmy scholarship in honor of the long-serving SEAA sponsor, exhibitor and friend. The scholarship, made possible by MAPP Advisors, was awarded to Arcum Partners this year.

Sebastian Builes, founder at Arcum Partners, thanked SEAA and Mapp Advisors for the honor, stating it was great to be back where he started the business a few short years ago. "SEAA was a phenomenal show all around, and there was an energy in there that hasn't been present in a very long time," Builes said. "I would say it was a combination of the people, the place and how long it's been since the last show. It seemed that everyone just wanted to get together and make things happen."

Informative sessions

Allen Kopelman, co-founder and CEO at Nationwide Payment Systems, agreed the 2022 conference was one of the best events SEAA ever hosted. "The show was well attended," Kopelman said. "I saw lots of friends and colleagues, including people I write for, people who would like me to write business for them, ISOs I'd never heard of and ISOs offering private-label POS."

Kopelman also noted that the breakout sessions were informative and the exhibit hall featured numerous software companies promoting merchant services and ISOs promoting product first and merchant services second. These business models are a clear departure from standalone merchant services, which are becoming passe, he said.

Sallie Dwyer, national sales director, ISO and ISV channels at iCheckGateway.com, agreed SEAA 2022 was a great mix of newcomers and long-time supporters. "The energy and networking were fantastic," she said. "The turnout was so great that they could have used a bigger venue, and I loved that there were so many new-to-the-show participants."

Bigger each year

Dwyer went on to say large events like SEAA can be overwhelming for people who are new to payments and do not know what to expect. SEAA made everyone feel comfortable, she added, by helping them navigate the venue and connect with like-minded professionals.

"SEAA had a networking event for people who were new to the show, which was great," Dwyer said. "This also gave me and so many others, who have been in the industry for a long time, a chance to connect, educate and get to know them."

Vowels reiterated his appreciation for all those who made the event a success and hinted that SEAA 2023 will be an even bigger show. "We look forward to seeing everyone at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla., next year," he said. "The conference starts on Mon., June 12, 2023." end of article

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