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Recapping the ELFA’s 2022 National Funding Conference, by Bob Rinaldi

Posted 04/26/2022

Bob Rinaldi, CEO of Rinaldi Advisory Services, and past Chairman of the ELFA, provides a recap of the ELFA’s 2022 National Funding Conference as well as some insights from attendees of this highly anticipated event.

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) held its National Funding Conference on at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on April 12-14, 2022. At the request of Michael Toglia, Publisher of Equipment Finance Advisor, who was unable to attend, I am happy provide a recap of this very-well attended event.

In a word, impressed is how I would categorize my biggest take-away from the ELFA National Funding Conference held earlier this month. Now the disclaimer:  Everyone found this hard to believe, but this was the first ELFA National Funding Conference that I officially attended – true story. Since I cannot compare it to past years, I have asked others for their opinions. From my perspective, I would also simply describe the event as on par with the National Convention, but without the programming and multiple diversions. The National Funding Conference was without a doubt an uplifting experience on multiple levels. The energy and the laser like focus on “Funding” by all attendees are just a few of the impressions I came away with from this event.

Here are some statistics from Amy Vogt, Vice President, Communications & Marketing of the ELFA in terms of attendance and exhibitors (mostly funders):

  • 2018: 678 attendees, 66 exhibitors
  • 2019: 634 attendees, 67 exhibitors
  • 2020 and 2021: Conference not held due to COVID
  • 2022: 700 attendees, 67 exhibitors along with over 80 booths, suites and meeting rooms running concurrently during the conference

To make sure my impressions were not just lone impressions, I reached out to several attendees the following week to get their take.

Spencer Thomas, CEO, KLC Financial
“I found this year’s funding conference to be filled with enthusiasm, wisdom, and many new capital sources to consider. I forgot how integral this conference is and I missed the ELFA energy. Fantastic use of time and so glad we are back on track!”

Lisa Ramirez, VP, Business and Professional Development, ELFA
“This was one of our biggest Funding Conferences ever. The attendees I spoke with were so excited to be networking and doing business together again in person. It’s been a long three years since the last Funding Conference and it was great to welcome the ELFA community back to Chicago!”

Don Hansen, CEO, Regents Capital
“While the pace was frenetic, the conference had an amazing energy. You can see our industry in action and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Sam Cristee, Managing Director, CIBC Commercial Banking and Specialty Finance
“There was a lively energy among conference attendees this year. Everyone seemed eager to reconnect with colleagues, meet new funding sources and take part in productive conversations. It was great to be back.”

Patrick Hoiby, CEO, Equify
“As a first-time attendee I was struck by the wide variety of funders in the marketplace and the high amount of professionalism and knowledge these companies possess. I heard some incredible success stories from humble beginnings, which are rarely heard, that are a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive in our industry.”   

The attitudes of the attendees were generally optimistic about new business volume, but that has always been a trademark of the leasing industry. They also felt fairly certain that the next nine months will have several interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and are already adding these increases into their forward-looking pricing practices.

In conclusion, I’ve come to one big takeaway – the ELFA National Funding Conference is not one to miss. I know I will be there in the future. Besides being an intense working conference of funding sources and syndicators, this conference is a fantastic industry barometer. See you there next year!

Related Resource https://www.equipmentfa.com
Michael Toglia
Equipment Finance Advisor
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