Deeper Thoughts
A different kind of conference from a different kind of mortgage association! – August 21st, 2020

Issue #37: A different kind of conference from a different kind of mortgage association!


From August 23 – 25, we’ll be participating in the technology showcase of the #NEXTSUMMER20 virtual conference and can not be more excited. First and foremost, it’s a virtual conference. This will be my personal first, although many of you have already attended more than one or two.

I will say this as we’ve “shopped” for places to virtually exhibit during virtual conference season: not all virtual conferences appear to be created equal! I’ve seen a few now that charged heightened fees for something of little value. For example, is there really such a thing as “priority spacing” in a virtual exhibit hall, and if there is, is it worth $5,000 more? Not for me! That’s one of several reasons we’ll be taking our maiden voyage in the virtual conference season at #NEXTSUMMER20.

Although I will certainly miss the benefits of an “in-person” conference (networking, et al), I’m also hoping that the focus on content and “getting things done” is heightened. Let’s admit it. Some “in-person” conferences are half-vacation, half-work events. Many will admit that they attend few (if any) sessions at some of the big annual conventions. Now, while many of those folks are in nothing but 15-minute meetings at off-site hotels all day; many others are busy preparing for their own “after-hours” events or simply catching up with old friends as much as they are winning new business. I’m hoping that a virtual event really gets us all down to business!

I’m also expecting that the virtual exhibit hall (please check out our Mortgage Sentinel showcase at 1:20 pm ET on August 25) will naturally populate with interested prospects and peers. Don’t get me wrong—the exhibit halls at the usual big national events are great. But they’re also a bit carnival-like. We’ll see as many competitors or potential vendors (and the occasional NFL hall-of-famer or motivational speaker) as we do prospects most years. So I’m hoping the virtual exhibit hall is something even more focused.

Finally, kudos to the NEXT organization for really making a splash in the industry at a time when too many others are simply “too busy” handling order volume to move forward in other ways. I can tell you that my interactions with the folks at NEXT have been dynamic, informative and refreshing. I’m looking forward to growing our relationship with this group as they transform an overly traditional (read: old-fashioned) industry. You can learn more about NEXT here.

I’ll report back after the event to let you know what we’ve learned and how it went!

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