On May 15, 2008, I arrived at the Renaissance Hotel and Highland and Hollywood Center in Hollywood, California, for the 16th Annual NACBA Convention. NACBA is the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. This is the largest gathering of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in the nation.

For the American Association of Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants, being an Exhibitor at this convention was a huge accomplishment for us. For the Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant, the Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney is our main target group. Actually, it’s our only target group since VBAs prepare bankruptcy petitions under the direct supervision of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. If we don’t have Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys calling us, essentially, we do not have a business.

To my astonishment, bankruptcy attorneys at the convention did not know who or what a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant was. Prior to the convention, they had never heard of us! We had our work cut out.

At AAVBA, we teach a Webinar on “Elevator Speeches” (a description of your service short enough to be given during a quick conversation in an elevator). While at the convention, our Elevator Speech technique came in handy.

There was a lot of interest from many attorneys. For new attorneys, this was a way for them to be able to start a law firm and not incur the expenses of hiring a full time staff. For the seasoned attorney, they saw this as being able to keep their law firm running smoothly while their full-time staff is on vacation or other unforeseen circumstances. Everyone saw it as a win-win situation. This was music to my ears.

For too long, the Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant has been struggling to get their businesses off the ground. The VBAs who have been in this business since its inception have never seen any profit doing this business. Also, the marketing alone was costing thousands of dollars with no return. It was pretty dismal.

I am proud to say, that since the NACBA Convention, our VBAs are getting inquiry calls and even assignments! In one week alone, we had 4 VBAs share their success stories with fellow AAVBA members.

Our marketing techniques are working as are our Business Development ideas. And we have high hopes that our Petition Preparation training will bring many assignments to our Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants. At AAVBA, we know you can’t learn everything about bankruptcy petition preparation in a two-week training session. Our Webinars are set up for VBAs to have ongoing education. When a VBA submits a request to do specialized training on one subject, we do all we can to accommodate those requests. We know when we do that, everyone benefits.

We have great hopes for this year. Our goal is to have 80% of our VBAs working by the end of 2008. I believe we will achieve our goal.

We’re looking forward to the 2009 NACBA Convention in Chicago, Illinois.