Nothing beats a compelling story, and the Southeast Acquirers Association believes it will deliver just that, and more, at its 2009 annual conference Feb. 23 to 25, 2009, at the Wyndham Resort in Orlando, Fla.
The conference will feature keynote speaker Rocky Sickmann, one of the 52 hostages held in Iran for 444 days when a group of Islamic students took over the American embassy in 1979.
"Rocky Sickmann is an incredible, special person," said John McCormick, board member of the SEAA and one of the organizers of this year's conference. "Rocky was a 19-year-old Marine stationed at the Tehran embassy when the Americans were taken hostage. Today, he is head of military sales for Anheuser-Busch. He has a great story, and I can't wait to hear him speak."
To educate the feet on the street and whet appetites for the ensuing conference, Mark Dunn will present his Field Guide for ISOs on Feb. 23. The Field Guide features presentations by industry experts, is continually updated and always receives glowing reviews from attendees.
Topics slated for the main conference include interchange, legislation, contract knowledge, evaluating portfolios and the economic state of payments. The sessions are designed to help ISOs and merchant level salespeople weather the current economic crisis and build a stronger foundation through networking with their peers.
Additionally, conference coordinators are working with local colleges and universities in an effort to introduce civilians to the payments industry. "One thing we've heard from vendors over the years is, What can we do to draw more folks into the industry and attract new entrepreneurs?" McCormick said.
According to McCormick, about 450 industry professionals are expected to attend, and there is still plenty of room for vendors and attendees. Registration is $50 and is available on the SEAA's Web site until one week before the event. "After that, anyone is welcome to register in person, but we encourage people to preregister if possible," McCormick said.
"This helps us with planning for food and drinks, but we are also offering door prizes and gift cards, and we'd like all of our attendees to be eligible for those," he noted. "We're also providing tickets and shuttles to Universal City Walk. And I'm thrilled with all of our presenters. It's going to be a fun show." For more information, visit www.southeastacquirers.com/agenda.
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