The Northeast Acquirers Association winter conference is moving to Boston next year after a 14-year run at Mount Snow, Vt.
The regional trade groups board changed the site to provide a more central, more accessible location in the hope of attracting more attendees and exhibitors, said Alan Forgione, an Ingenico executive who serves as president of the all-volunteer NEAA board.
It made sense to look at other venues because we wanted the numbers to grow, Forgione said.
Shows at Mount Snow have been attracting 300 to 450 participants, and the board hopes to see that number increase to as many as 600 in Boston, he said.
Where the associations future winter shows will convene remains undecided, Forgione said, noting that Mount Snow could serve as the venue for alternating years and that New York City and Philadephia could also play host to future gatherings.
A new attraction at this years winter conference bears the name Catpult 2015. The event, which parallels the Shark Attack at the Midwest Acquirers Association conferences, was inspired by the Shark Tank television show thats based on the Dragons Den program in the U.K. In all of those events, entrepreneurs present their business plans to a panel of judges.
The idea for Catapult 15 came from Donna Embry, a Payment Alliance International executive whos the outgoing MWAA president and has become the newest member of the NEAA board.
At the NEAA show, the Catapult 2015 winners will receive cash prizes and exposure in the acquiring industry. The first place contestant will also receive free booth space at Transact 15, the annual conference of the Electronic Transactions Association.
Awarding Transact 15 booth space to the winner is an example of the cooperation emerging between the ETA and each of the four regional acquiring conferences, Forgione said. ETA CEO Jason Oxman is scheduled to speak at the NEAA show.
Meanwhile, the fate of the NEAAs summer show seems a bit uncertain, Forgione said. The board may decide to skip the show in 2015 and reconvene the following year.
Summer shows have been attracting 200 to 300 participants, but many just drop in for a brief visit during lunch or after work, he noted.
Other NEAA board members include Nancy Austin, Jim Fink, Ruth Gorski, Chris Butts, Jeff Akeson and Henry Helgeson.