What Happened in Vegas ...

20th Annual ACFE Fraud Conference & Exhibition Sets Attendance Record

By Dick Carozza

2009-SeptOct-20th Annual Crowd 
How can an association attract more than 2,000 attendees to a conference during a major recession? By giving them what they need.


"Our current economic environment demands that practitioners stay current on the latest fraud examination techniques," said James D. Ratley, CFE, president of the ACFE.

That's just what they found at the 20th Annual ACFE Fraud Conference & Exhibition July 12-17 in Las Vegas, according to attendee evaluations collected at the event.

As one attendee mentioned in his conference evaluation, "The ACFE Fraud Conference is like an energy drink for your career. I went away feeling rejuvenated." Another attendee said she'd paid for the conference out of her own pocket because her employer wasn't covering out-of-town travel. "I'm delighted to say that I got more than my money's worth," she said. "I wish I had discovered, and known about, the ACFE earlier in my career."


Ratley said when business takes a downturn, more fraud is exposed. "It was always there, but when the economy is good, fraud is easy to cover up," he said. "During the recession, more are becoming anti-fraud practitioners. We've added more than 5,000 to our membership rolls in the last year alone, and with nearly 50,000 members in more than 125 countries, we remain the largest anti-fraud organization in the world."

Ratley said this year's event, which focused on fraud risk assessment and prevention training, was the largest in ACFE history.

"This is quite a feat in light of the current difficult economic conditions in the United States and abroad," Ratley said during the opening general session at the conference. "It reflects the strength of our industry and the dedication and commitment to excellence of our members."

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