This year the annual NACFB Commercial Finance Expo took place on the 20 June. As always it was an early start for the Signature Private Finance team, tasked with setting up our stand before the 9.30 start.

Whilst driving up the M4 from our Cardiff office, I was pondering just what sort of event this would be, given it was my first NACFB Expo. A gentle introduction was assured with the now-popular pre-exhibition reception to attend the evening before.

This event ensured I caught up with a lot of old contacts in the finance industry – amazing just how many in the industry know Signature and the waves we are currently making in the commercial bridging market

The big names in the lending and brokering market were in attendance, which offered the opportunity to network and make new contacts, whilst discussing the current bridging market; I have to admit the World Cup was also a bit of a hot topic.

As always talk of our extremely competitive 0.45% rate, high LTV, quick decisions and personal service cause a few eyebrows to be raised.

Time to stand and talk

At the show proper on the Wednesday, we were ready from the first minute, with our ‘flair cocktail bar’ up and creating beautiful, thirst-quenching non-alcoholic mocktails – perfect for a hot day in the hall.

The visitors to our stand were clearly attracted by the promise of our unrivalled short-term property finance offering, but I suspect once news spread of our bar, it proved an equally attractive proposition.

Whilst the show attracted the large number of brokers expected, we were still surprised by the number that needed more information about Signature and what we have to offer. We made some really good contacts, with meetings planned for the coming weeks.

Each conversation followed a similar pattern as we explained our decades of collective experience and knowledge of the property development market.

Most were surprised by our hands-on approach and determination to visit sites as often as possible to really get a good understanding of a client’s ambition.

Happily, the steady flow of interested brokers and finance professionals, interspersed with the odd tour of the halls ourselves, meant the day flew by. However, by the time it closed at 4.30pm, I have to admit I was a bit croaky from all the talking.

We are still looking at a few specific, out-of-the-ordinary deals for brokers and have meetings yet to organise, all of which is probably a better measure of the success of the show, than merely the footfall statistics.

However, the true test is turning these discussion and meeting into deals completed and funds drawn down, then we’ll truly understand the benefit of exhibiting at the NACFB Expo next year.