HOUSTON  — The National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers recently announced the agenda and speakers for its 10th Annual National BHPH Conference to be held May 6-8, in Las Vegas.

The conference will kick off May 6 at the newly renovated Las Vegas Hilton.

"We expect that more than 2,000 dealers, experts and service providers will attend this year to hear nationally recognized speakers during the expanded two and one-half day program," announced Ken Shilson, CPA and conference chairman.

"Interest in the buy-here, pay-here industry has never been greater," he indicated.

This year's conference theme is "Facing New Challenges." The educational program will focus on things to consider when entering the industry, proven strategies to improve cash flow and profits, where to find capital, how to locate the best customers and avoiding legal and regulatory pitfalls.

"Given the difficult economic challenges operators face today, this conference has been structured to prepare attendees to meet these challenges more successfully," Shilson stated.

The general educational sessions will feature a single track, and all vendor presentations have been moved to concurrent break-out sessions where attendees can choose their topics of interest, Shilson noted.

"The breakout sessions will provide attendees with information on important topics and are not infomercials," he highlighted.

The general education sessions include nationally recognized speakers and experts, including George Dans, D.J. Harrington, Michael York and Jay Rose.

Moreover, Tom Kontos, ADESA's executive vice president of customer strategies and analytics, is slated to discuss the BHPH marketplace, while investment banker, John Nagy, of Stephens Inc., will provide a capital markets perspective.

The program will also provide attendees with the latest benchmarks, industry trend information and outlook perspective.

Continuing on, the NABD said, interactive panels with attendees will cover proven strategies for improving operators' financial management; best operating practices; and successful advertising strategies.

In addition, the general session will include a presentation on ways to avoid common underwriting mistakes.

Attorneys Tom Hudson, Emily Beck and Terry O'Loughlin will also be on hand to discuss how to avoid legal and regulatory pitfalls, along with talking about the best way to handle attorney general complaints.

On Thursday afternoon, Shilson said a series of workshops have been added to provide attendees with practical ways to implement the strategies discussed.

These workshop sessions include discussions on Internet best practices, growing subprime portfolios prudently, selling to the unbankable consumer, the basic principles of the BHPH business and ways to stand out from the competition.

The sessions are designed to give attendees practical tips on how to increase profits and cash flow, along with facilitating networking.

"Operators need to work smarter, not harder. Dealer education helps them avoid trial and error mistakes which cost millions of dollars," Shilson said.

The general sessions will also include important information on increasing collections and recoveries, designing pay plans that motivate key employees and other operating practices that will "move the needle," Shilson stated.

More than 150 sponsors are expected to make the exhibit hall the largest in NABD history, he continued.

Two receptions and two luncheons will be held in the exhibit hall during the conference to facilitate networking between dealers, experts and service providers.

Those interested in exhibiting are encouraged to call NABD at (713) 290-8171 while space is still available.

The NABD has arranged special discounts on rooms at the Las Vegas Hilton to make the conference affordable for all attendees. The hotel, through NABD, also offers three levels of room upgrades at substantial discounts.

"Given the importance of BHPH to the automotive industry and the challenging economic conditions, anyone who is serious about prospering in this segment of the business is encouraged to attend," Shilson explained.

Space is limited and registrations can be made online at the NABD Web site or via (713) 290-8171.

A complete agenda is available online at the NABD Web site, www.bhphinfo.com.