NAPBS 2017 Fall Conference Report
NAPBS 2017 Annual Conference (aka In-Spite-of-Hurricane Irma)
Orlando, Florida September 17-19, 2017
The attendance numbers were at an all-time record reaching 817. This level of attendance demonstrates the greatness and value of these conferences. I talked to several first time attendees and they told me that after this experience, they will never miss another. It was that valuable.
The volunteers and professionals at NAPBS are working hard for the industry. The Board flew in on Saturday for their 2.5 hour board meeting. The Advanced FCRA course (and exam) was from 2-5PM while others participated in a half hour of Ambassador Training (those volunteers who help attendees get from point A to point B in the hotel without getting too lost). Our Debra Berke, Abbe Groffman and Emily Guinan were ambassadors. Then some very well attended Networking Group Meetings from 5-6, a general session from 6-7 and Exhibit floor cocktails from 7-9. Non-stop action.
The new conference app was a very useful tool this time. Maps, schedules, locations of sessions, place to post picture and happenings. Very much improved.
Many critical, timely and informative sessions were covered over the two days of the conference. I won’t list them all here but if you want to know more specifics, see the NAPBS website. I had the pleasure of presenting this year. My topic was “5 Essential Tactics to Grow Your CRA.” We ended up with the highest attended break-out session and attained the highest rating.
In another move forward, Brent Smoyer, JD is now full time with NAPBS to represent us to state governments with a goal to assure state legislation is not averse to our interests. This is an increasingly important area as state and local governments need to be educated before they pass laws.
Outgoing Chair, Dawn Standerwick gave a really professional talk and new Chair Scott Hall welcomed everyone with a very upbeat outlook. You really have to appreciate the time and energy these folks and all the board volunteers dedicate to our association.
Compliance, Compliance, Compliance. The attorneys didn’t seem quite so frightening this time around. Maybe I am just getting used to the new norm with lawyers suing for any alleged violation. This is still a serious challenge so be sure you are in great shape by following federal, state and local laws, keeping your clients in compliance and having standard operating procedures in place that you actually follow.
All CRAs are showing good growth with the key to this growth and success remaining centered on (1) service to your customer and (2) customer service. Note: these are not the same. Service to the customer means quality, fast turnaround time, comprehensive data, compliance, education, etc. and customer service is how well you do when you get a call from a client with a question or an issue. Somebody once said that we all get our data from the same 11,000,000 sources; what counts is how well and how fast you get that data to your customers and how you respond to your customers when they call with an issue.
I got some feedback that end users are starting to slow pay. Are you watching this at your company?
Still hearing from a lot of companies about their interest in acquisitions. The industry is still very much in a sellers’ marketplace. Three deals were concluded so far this year using our M&A services and several companies are aggressively looking to pick up properties.
International landscape continues to grow. Background screening in the international market is becoming more and more the accepted practice just like it has developed domestically over the past 25 years.
The party Monday Night was another winner (thanks Innovative!!). And I finally beat Cory Kirk at pinball. Actually I think he ran up the score and then he told me it was my score and not his. He kept boasting that I was now the king, just like a true salesperson☺. This get together is a great opportunity to meet new people and to connect to talk about common work challenges and issues.
Tuesday night NAPBS brought in a great band—but they were way, way, way, waaaaay too loud. Typically we see the attendance on this closing affair wane but not this night. Of course these “fun times” also give us the opportunity to get to know one another better, to catch up on old friendships and learn more about our industry.
The food was disappointing. Not that we go for the food, but…., it really, really, really sucked this time. The good news was that I lost three pounds, in spite of living off the chocolate supplied by the exhibitors (oh….thank you!).
Temperature: We can put a man into space but we haven’t yet figured out how to control a thermostat in meeting rooms or in the exhibit hall. Some things never change.
People, Places, Stuff
• Compass sold to TransUnion.
• Data Divers was sold.
• CorrectChecks was sold to another screening company.
• QuickSearch was sold to another screening company.
• RealPage acquired On-Site.
• The Screening Pros sold.
• FRS is reported to be still very much alive.
• Albert Bueno “retired” from his presidency at GIS. “Time to move on to other things”.
• Carl Cogdill moved from Employment Screening Services to Wholesale Screening Solutions.
• Roi Stone parted company with TazWorks just before the conference and is seeking a new opportunity.
• Prissy Hamilton is now with County House Research.
• Brian Heatwole moved to ArcPoint.
• Craig Caddell has left ClearStar and is currently looking for a new opportunity.
• Aurico is rebranded as CareerBuilder Employment Screening.
As always, the attendees this week were engaging, bright, interested and determined. Whether looking for new suppliers, ways to grow their business, hearing current updates on compliance and regulation or overall industry happenings, this group of attendees was goal driven. Healthy signs of robust strength for this lively industry.
If you are not a member of NAPBS, just join. It really is not expensive (couple of bucks a day), especially compared to the value you receive. Contribute, join, learn, be active, benefit. Governments (federal, state and local), continue to make decisions that impact your business. As a member, your dues contribute to our legal costs to defend you and your industry before all these uninformed, misinformed and biased legislators.
Remember, NAPBS is the voice of the screening industry.