Pre-Employment Screeners 2009 Conference

Pre-Employment Screeners 2009 Conference

Well, congratulations to Steve Brownstein and Phyllis Nadel for their EIGHTH annual conference. Faheem Ebrahim,with Straightline, did a great job as MC for the entire event.

Like all conferences, attendance was off a bit this year. On the positive side, the good news was that the people attending were, in the most part, not the same people we saw at the NAPBS conference. As such, it was a good venue for exhibitors, at least for us as we continued to get a great response introducing our two new offerings, Dexter (for robot extraction of criminal data from court websites) and Business Expert Webinars.

While the plans to have a simultaneous conference for HR managers at the hotel across the street had to be postponed, Brownstein reports that he has already committed for next year.

Exhibitor Highlights

12 Criminal Records/Data Providers (17 last year)

0 Court Researchers (5last year)

5 Software Platforms/ASPs (6 last year)

1 MVRs (1 last year)

1 Drug TPA (2 last year)

2 Publishers

1 Misc.

1 Consulting Firm

Social and Networking

The Sunday evening cocktail party was a big hit, as always, with a lot of networking with conversations afterwards continuing into the lobby, the bar and even into the city of Clearwater Beach. Note: the vendor exhibits were not part of this cocktail party because they were going to be open all day Monday and Tuesday were was time at the cocktail party for the exhibitors to just schmooze and plenty of time over the next wo days for the attendees to visit the exhibits.

Monday night, NBD sponsored a big Disco nd Karaoke party that went from 9PM until…well, I left at 1am and itwas still going. Many, many, many thanks to NBD. Here is aspecial report on the party from my on the site reporters:

What began as a subdued disco party Monday evening evolved into a mirage of talent displays. We saw limbo, we saw dance-offs, there was Shagging (the dance form, of course!) and even an 80’s throwback to break dancing as one brave soul “wormed” his way across the dance floor. To our dismay, we witnessed no actual disco dancing.

However, we did confirm our industry is full ofemerging American Idol wannabe’s. The singing…oh, the singing!From Lindsey and Eric’s rendition of Snoop Dog’s and Dr. Dre’s infamous rap to the Brownstein brothers strangely enjoyable dark duet, the evening was highlighted with lighthearted, fun Karaoke.

Our overall rating: we give it a9! A perfect 10 would have only been achieved if Bruce Burg remained a constant figure on the dance floor. So nice to know our talents aren’t limited to the screening industry! Courtesy of Andrea Griffin and Jolene Pritchard, MBI Worldwide.

Tuesday night, many gathered in the bar after going out for dinner. We had a lot of laughs and I am sorry, but the details of such are not appropriate for this publication.

People News: Bill Bollinger, one of the founders of NBD is retiring. No word yet on his replacement.

Presentations: The sessions I was able to attend were mostly well done, informative and germane. And the mainspeaker, Larry Winget, was very entertaining and absolutely worth the price of admission all byhimself. A couple ofhis gems: The secret ofcustomer service? Be nice. Most important part of selling? Ask. How do you make leadershipwork for you? Give them something good to follow. Take responsibility. Get started now.

Les Rosen gave another of his expert presentations on how to avoid getting sued in today’s litigious environment.And, more lawyers are finding our industry a good target. On Wednesday morning, the third day, Les also gave agreat Q&A session where you could get any question answered for free, in addition to his video presentation hegives to end users.

Cheri Homa, from KPMG talked about the state of the market for background screening. Her point was thatalthough the industry has been really hurt by the faltering economy, weshould not despair because the economy will come back and hiring will pick up. She referred to this as “imbedded growth.” Of course, she stressed that thosewho will thrive in the recovery are those that got their costs in order and have continued to bring on new clients. She always gives a good presentation. 10% of background screening companies will have sales increases in 2009, 44% reduced prices to keep clients, 47% gave significant price reductions toget new business.

Bon Idziak gave an update on HR-XML in which he is deeply involved.

Shabbir Safdar gave us some great insight into Facebook. It is becoming a marketing and selling tool.

Oscar Marquis talked about the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 and its implications.

Other presentations were on International searches, building data repositories in India, the importance of fieldresearchers and Safe Harbor, and how to protect trade secrets. Thanks again for a quality conference. I look forward to the nineth and the tenth annual conferences.