December 20, 2022 (Independence, OH) – M&A Source, the leading not for profit trade association for lower middle market (LMM) business transaction advisors, released its new website at www.masource.org. The much-anticipated website is the start of a comprehensive, strategic rebranding of the organization. “M&A Source has always been the leading source of education and networking […]
M&A Source News
ReCap: San Diego Conference + Deal Market
Another M&A Source Conference is in the books. By all accounts, the San Diego conference will be remembered as a giant success and well worth attending. From a multitude of fantastic networking opportunities to varied, well-run classes and workshops, there was something of value for everyone. The M&A Source hosted 227 attendees from 24 states and three countries who participated in networking, learning, and collaboration from November 13th through the 16th. In that time, 154 course takers received a total of 616 educational hours, and various workshops on topics including taxes, marketing, and licensing were applauded for their content and relevance.
Kathy Thiel, communications committee chair, found the networking and educational components of the conference extremely valuable to her business. “This has been the best conference I have attended,” she remarked. When pressed, Kathy did suggest that some type of onsite introduction to the Deal Market participants early in the conference would facilitate refining the list of people each attendee might be most interested in meeting in the limited time available.
Lamar Stanley, incoming conference chair and one of the buyers at the Deal Market, rated San Diego as well within the “top quartile” of the thirteen conferences he attended. Lamar disagreed with many of the other interviewees about the facility’s location. He thought the isolated location fostered more networking after hours when people moved to various areas within the compound to continue their conversations from earlier in the day. Some highlights Lamar shared were his thoughts on conversations he held with representatives from Huntington Bank and Live Oak. He appreciated the perspective on the market they gave outside of a deal in a more informal environment. Lamar congratulated the M&A Source for fostering a conference environment that “feels like family,” which is unique among other M&A organizations. “It’s always great, in a collegial environment, to get to hear and see other folks – people who are dealmakers or supporting dealmakers directly.”
Scott Masuda, conference chair, with “too many conferences to count” under his belt, wished the conference had had a better conference chair. Seriously, during our discussion, Scott was already focusing on improving conferences in the years ahead. He recommends that the leadership take a more active role in choosing the venue location. He believes that the success of the conference must start with the selection of the venue. Budgetary constraints are certainly a factor in venue selection, but he believes that we might benefit from looking at locations that are more business-oriented rather than resort locations. He mentioned that this change in approach might actually make the conference more affordable, even in cities currently considered “too expensive” to consider, but have other benefits to people traveling to the event. He suggested a venue in Chicago or New York could be attractive. Scott was also very pleased with the level of education that the conference brought to its members. The classes presented advanced topics that did not necessarily teach attendees all the steps to accomplish a task, but rather exposed them to the concept of how others are approaching a situation, leaving them to research more or seek out someone who knows how to accomplish it.
Finally, I leave you with some numbers provided by Emily Bowler, Senior Association Director for the M&A Source. In the initial review of the post-conference survey, Deal Market buyers met 21-30 new advisors with whom they had no previous relationship. Overall, each advisor brought an average of 6-10 deals to the tables for review. We can only assume some deals sprouted from that type of interaction. Again, from some preliminary discussions, the split Deal Market and the format of the two cocktail hours were well received.
As we review our stats and bask in a job well done, keep an eye on May 23rd-24th for our joint Spring Conference in Orlando with the IBBA, and the M&A Source Fall Conference in Charlotte on October 15th-18th. If there is something you want to see changed or something you want to keep, let someone on the appropriate committee, your Conference Chair, Lamar Stanley, or your Committee Chair, Scott Masuda know about it. We all work for the advancement of the M&A Source as your source of M&A information and leadership.
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