"Looking around there seemed to be fewer new lenders than in previous years, but a big trend for extending loan terms or adjusting rates in order to appeal to a shifting market."
We came, we saw, we exhibited. This year’s NACFB Expo offered an opportunity for us and 135 other exhibitors to meet new and old acquaintances.
Here, I share a few of my takeaways from the exhibition.
Commercial finance is evolving - It wasn’t long ago that many of the lenders at the expo were considered start-ups, new to the field and with a limited product range. Fast forward a few years and these same lenders are well established, specialising their services as their experience in the market grows.
Looking around there seemed to be fewer new lenders than in previous years, but a big trend for extending loan terms or adjusting rates in order to appeal to a shifting market. Alternative finance has been a front runner in this change, cementing its position as a mainstream borrowing option.
Predictions from the panels - Change was also on the agenda at panel discussions on the day. Predictions for the future of commercial finance included a sector with increased collaboration between lenders but with fewer lenders around.
Conversations also covered the increasing use of technology and its implications. Whilst innovation makes everyday tasks easier for brokers, it also affords them the time to deepen their relationships with their clients. The perfect opportunity to educate clients in the range of products available to them.
Putting the fun in funding - How could I write an article on the highlights of the expo without mentioning all the fun involved? The food, the drinks, the freebies and interactive elements of the day provided the perfect backdrop to talk business in a less formal setting than usual. If you grew tired of the table football and racing simulators you could always get lost in a VR headset. No promises that people would stop discussing deals whilst you slay a dragon though.
What does the future hold? If this year’s event is anything to go by, perhaps virtual reality expos? If that’s the case I wouldn’t be interested, nothing beats meeting brokers in person and getting a feel for their concerns and interests. The expo was a great opportunity to do just that. From the conversations on the big day, it’s clear that many of us share a passion for finding finance, I just hope the tradition for evolution continues.