When It's Okay to Talk to Strangers: Attending the Conference for the First Time

Attending the ACFE Global Fraud Conference for the first time can be exciting, but also intimidating. With more than 3,000 fraud fighters, 70 breakout sessions, a hall full of exhibitors and the sights and sounds of Las Vegas just a few steps away, where do you start?

I recently spoke with Eric Strom, CFE, who provided advice for first-time conference attendees. Eric will be attending his 11th ACFE Global Fraud Conference this year.

When was your first ACFE Annual Conference? Where was it?
The first conference I attended was the 17th Annual ACFE Fraud Conference in Las Vegas.

What keeps you coming back?
The opportunities to network with different professionals (private sector, legal, law enforcement) who are all involved in fighting fraud is unmatched at any other event. 

What tips would you offer to first time conference attendees?
Bring plenty of business cards and make a point to talk with strangers at every opportunity. After the event, keep in contact with your new friends because they can help with your investigations.

What are the “can’t-miss” events to go to at the conference?
You can't miss the Networking Reception and the closing speech by the fraudster.

There are so many breakout sessions to choose from. How do you pick which ones to attend?Typically start with your track (audit, investigations, legal, etc.) and then branch out if you've already taken a course or if something looks interesting in another track.

What three things should you definitely bring with you to the conference?
Business cards, a cell phone camera to take photos of interesting PowerPoint slides and mouthwash. :)

What is one piece of advice you have for first time attendees to help make their conference a success?
Get out of your comfort zone. Don't hesitate to introduce yourself to someone new and share your passion with them.

Whether this is your first, 11th or 27th ACFE Global Fraud Conference, there are always exciting educational sessions to participate in, connections to make and ideas to take home. I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! 

Plan your conference at FraudConference.com.