ELFA 57th Annual Convention
ELFA 57th Annual Convention

Call For Presentations

Submission Deadline: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Entries must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 pm EST, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

Equipment finance is on the rise, but the secret to success in today's changing marketplace isn't "business as usual." The most successful equipment finance companies are preparing for evolving markets and adapting their business operations to tap into new opportunities.

The theme for the 57th ELFA Annual Convention is “Evolve, Emerge, Excel.” This theme opens doors to examine and discuss many trends facing the industry.

If you have an idea for a session you would like to present at this year's Annual Convention, please keep the following Convention objectives in mind:

Evolve: To stay relevant and thrive in today’s fast-changing world, it is critical to evolve your business operations to tap into new opportunities. Whether you have been in business for years or are a start-up, your business is evolving to stay relevant. We are looking for sessions focusing on strategies for success, from leveraging new technology to building a strong and diverse workforce to entering new markets.

  • Connect with your business partners, funding sources, vendors and customers
  • Flourish as a person, as a company and as an industry
  • Grow your reputation and your market share

Emerge: This area of interest examines and discusses a number of trends facing the industry—such as changing customer demands, the biggest tax code overhaul in a generation, implementation of new lease accounting rules, hiring and retaining the next generation of talent, the digital transformation of the industry and positioning your business to emerge stronger than ever. Sessions in this area of interest, may include:

  • Build your understanding of the global marketplace
  • Tax reform to Dodd-Frank
  • Connect with your business partners, funding sources, vendors and customers
  • Flourish as a person, as a company and as an industry
  • Grow your reputation and your market share

Excel: Business is revving up. The equipment finance industry is forecast to surpass $1 trillion in 2018, contributing not only to businesses’ success but also to U.S. economic growth. Prepare to win business in a competitive marketplace, deliver value to customers and excel at achieving your goals. Sessions in this area, may include topics such as:

  • Staying relevant in a fast-changing world
  • Gaining an edge by innovating your business operations


Take Your Place Among Our Industry's Prized Resources

We invite you to submit a proposal outlining your presentation for a session at the 57th ELFA Annual Convention. Your proposal will be carefully reviewed by a committee of your peers. If selected, you will be invited to make a presentation or lead a roundtable discussion at one of several time slots scheduled for Monday, October 15 or Tuesday, October 16.

Please read this document thoroughly before submitting your proposal. ELFA anticipates that once again we will receive more proposals than presentations slots available. Please avoid submitting proposals that have too narrow an audience…proposals that have a substantially wider appeal will be given priority. In addition, please keep in mind, ELFA is committed to gender and ethnic diversity representation among session presenters. And most important: do not submit proposals that appear to be selling a product or supplying a service.


Session Topics/Issues of High Priority

In addition to the issues mentioned above, ELFA reached out to its Business Council Steering Committees asking for guidance on the kinds of issues/topics that should be discussed and/or showcased at this year's Annual Convention. These committees represent the major business segments of the industry: small ticket, independent, financial institutions, captive and vendor finance, and service providers. Below is a summary of their suggested session/topic ideas. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and is provided to serve as a general guide to the kinds of topics that will be given priority at this year's Convention.

  • New lease accounting standards; impact on the leasing and finance company; impact on your customers
  • Update on growing market segments: e.g., software investment, aircraft, industrial equipment
  • How to build your workforce for the future? Gender and ethnic diversity
  • Where will growth come from: domestically? Internationally?
  • Margin compression: How can companies add additional value for their customers to counteract the trend toward margin compression?
  • Systems implementation and integration – technology facing the equipment finance industry today – Where are we going? Where should we be going?
  • Compliance issues as they relate to systems, operations or transactions
  • A new generation is entering the workforce, changing the rules for attracting and retaining talent.
  • Compensation trends, employee engagement, and emerging talent retention
  • Financing assets that are deployed in the Cloud
  • Nontraditional financings growing role in equipment finance
  • Managing residual risk
  • Balancing the need for growth against the cost of expansion
  • Improving market conditions to increase credit supply and demand for equipment acquisitions
  • Trends in managed solutions vis-à-vis, accounting, systems, legal, and other issues that impact ability to meet customer needs
  • What are the different models (e.g., private label vendor, joint venture, fully-funded on book) manufacturers are using for their captives, and the pros and cons of each
  • How do companies address the deployment of a global finance solution? Are there best practices?
  • Regulatory Changes that pose opportunities and threats, including uncertainties surrounding the economy and government regulation
  • Your value proposition: what value do you bring to your customers? Your parent?
  • Issues surrounding operational efficiencies
  • Best practices in recruiting, hiring and retention
  • E-Signatures: Do they offer a competitive advantage? What is required?


Other Issues Worthy of Consideration

Marketing Strategy

Proposals that discuss:

  • Prospecting for customers: what value are you providing to attract and keep customers?
  • Modifying business models to adjust to changing customer needs
  • Customer retention strategies

The "Business" of Running the Business

Proposals that discuss:

  • Increasing operational efficiencies; streamlining processes
  • Increasing transparency with customers
  • Applying technology that results in greater efficiencies, lower costs, or added capabilities
  • Portfolio performance/risk management: Are you creating opportunities or limiting returns? Is your risk tolerance in line with your value proposition?

The Business Climate

Proposals that discuss:

  • Scrutiny of business practices with customers and channel partners
  • Improving image and brand recognition among regulators, customers, funders and others
  • Impact and benefits of new sources of capital
  • New markets; new opportunities
  • The effect of regulatory, accounting and tax changes on new business opportunities
  • The effect of improving market conditions to increase credit supply
  • Impact of short-term interest rates

Funding/Capital Markets

Proposals that discuss:

  • Innovations in financing products
  • Funding strategies: what works now
  • Nontraditional financing role in equipment investment

Human Capital Issues

Proposals that discuss:

  • Keeping employees engaged: motivating, rewarding and retaining people during turbulent times
  • Building a climate of diversity
  • How have changes in strategic direction shifted the skills and performance capabilities now needed in equipment finance companies?
  • The leadership issue: How do you effectively prepare for turnover at the executive level?

Format: Concurrent Breakout Sessions or Roundtable Discussions

Session proposals should describe the kind of format you will be using to present and share information.

  • Breakout Session: A formal presentation with a number of speakers, facilitated by a moderator. Q&A included as part of the presentation. The primary focus is to provide information and share knowledge on current or critical issues.
  • Roundtable Discussion: Sessions that foster interaction and networking in a less formal, more intimate setting. Attendee feedback over the years suggests that members place high value on the ability to exchange ideas and share best practices. If you submit a Roundtable proposal, it is assumed that you (or someone of your choosing) will lead a facilitated discussion, therefore please provide a sample list of discussion questions as part of your proposal.

If your proposal is accepted, it will be placed in one of the following time slots:

  • Monday morning, October 15, immediately following the General Session
  • Monday afternoon, October 15, following the General Luncheon
  • Tuesday morning, October 16, immediately following the General Session
  • Tuesday afternoon, October 16, immediately following the Business Council Luncheons

Session Length: Sessions range in time between 90 minutes for morning sessions, and either 75 minutes or 90 minutes for afternoon sessions.


Selection Criteria

ELFA will make every attempt NOT to combine proposals submitted on similar topics from different proposals. While we want as many qualified individuals and companies represented on the convention program, we want to avoid diluting what might otherwise be an important session. Whenever possible, ELFA will select the best proposal submitted rather than combining proposals. However, when two proposals are compatible and combining them results in a higher quality session, ELFA reserves the right to ask individuals to work together in developing a single session.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Timely information on selected topics of current interest that illustrate out-of-the-box thinking, demonstrating an ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
  2. Case studies that highlight value: application or introduction of new or improved processes, strategies, or products; or excellence in leadership or management of a company or business unit
  3. Research/benchmarking results that point to trends
  4. Sessions that stress peer-to-peer networking and information sharing
  5. Sessions that are of particular interest to specific market segments (e.g., small ticket, middle market, vendor programs) or emerging or growing markets (e.g., energy, infrastructure)


Additional Selection Criteria

  • Any one presenter or company may submit no more than two proposals
  • ELFA member companies will be given priority, however non-members may submit proposals as well
  • The topic is of interest to a majority of the convention attendees
  • The written proposal captures the most critical issues related to the topic to be presented or discussed
  • If appropriate, the proposal identifies additional qualified individuals (including consultants, professors, professionals and others) who will be included among the presenters. It is highly encouraged that your panelists, whenever possible, represent diversity in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and race.
  • The proposal suggests a presentation format appropriate to the topic (breakout session or roundtable discussion)


Important Deadlines

  • July 11, 2018: All proposals must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm Eastern Time, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
  • August 20 - 24: Acceptance notices will be distributed the week of August 20, 2018
  • October 1, 2018: Handout materials are due to ELFA on Monday, October 1, 2018


Some General Information You Should Know

  • The ELFA Annual Convention is the largest annual gathering of professionals in the equipment finance industry. Attendees are generally the most senior level staff, including CEOs, Presidents, General Managers, Marketing Directors, Sales Directors, Senior Vice Presidents and other professionals responsible for business development
  • Presentation handouts from sessions will be posted on the ELFA website and in the ELFA Events mobile app. They will be offered free to registered attendees, and will be sold to other individuals for a minimal amount. Handouts will not be posted without your express permission. Handouts will be posted in a PDF format, thus preventing individuals from tampering or altering your original in any way.
  • A well-attended session generally has 40 – 60 individuals in the room. If your topic is particularly "hot," you might get 75 – 100 in attendance.
  • All convention attendees, including presenters, pay the ENTIRE convention registration fee. However, if a speaker is a consultant or academic who would not otherwise attend the ELFA Convention, the convention fee is waived.
  • Standard session rooms are equipped with an LCD projector, screen and microphone in a theatre type setting or round tables, depending on the session type. Rooms can be arranged in a different format as your session requires. These details will be discussed AFTER session approval.


Authorization to Record Your Session

The ELFA will be audio-recording breakout sessions presented at the Annual Convention and will post these on the ELFA website synchronized with the appropriate handout materials or power point slides. These will be provided to all convention attendees (both ELFA members and non-members) as part of their registration fee. Recordings and handouts will not be posted without your express permission.

Please note: when submitting your speaking proposal, please indicate your willingness to have your session recorded and your handouts materials posted to the ELFA website.


Entry Instructions

Entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm EST, Monday, July 11, 2018

Entries will be accepted electronically. Please click the button below to access the electronic submission form:

If you are unable to access the electronic form due to office security polices, please follow the instructions below and submit a word document submission.


  1. Please submit a Cover Sheet with your proposal that includes the following information:
    1. Your name, title, company, address, phone, e-mail
    2. Indicate the Program Format for which you are submitting (Breakout Session or Roundtable Discussion)
    3. Indicate the Intended Market(s) (small ticket, middle market independent, captive and vendor programs, etc.)
    4. Identify Your Co-Presenters (if any, and if known at time of submission). Please note: confirm their interest before listing their names!
    5. Indicate your willingness to have your session recorded and your handouts materials posted to the ELFA website.
  2. Any one presenter or one company may submit no more than two proposals.
  3. On the remaining two pages, please include as succinctly as possible in the following order:
    • Presentation title
    • One to three learning objectives (by the end of this session/roundtable, attendees will…)
    • A 100-300 word abstract (description of the session/roundtable content) including why this topic is important.
    • Intended audience (include general functional areas, e.g., corporate executive, marketing director, sales manager, etc.)
    • If submitting a roundtable proposal, please provide a sample list of discussion questions as part of your proposal.
    • Brief biographical information establishing credentials for all presenters. Please indicate if there are any expenses related to any of your intended presenters.
  4. The preferred method of submitting your proposal is via electronic form; however, if you are unable to access the form due to office security polices, please submit via email. Please email your proposal to Heather Staverman at hstaverman@elfaonline.org. All proposals must be received no later than Monday, July 11, 2018 or submitted electronically by 11:59 pm EST, Monday, July 11, 2018.
  5. Expect notification from ELFA of the status of your proposal status during the week of August 20, 2018. If you have questions, or need assistance, please call Heather Staverman at (202) 238-3427.

Please note that proposals will be judged on the focus and clarity of the abstract, and the relevance, practicality, audience appropriateness, and transferability of the content.