More than 160 industry professionals participated in the 23rd annual Users' Conference hosted by Financial Industry Computer Systems, Inc., held earlier this month in Dallas. Like many large tech vendors and others in the mortgage space, the company hosts its own events each year for users of the company's various platforms to network and gain special training on commercial and residential servicing, as well as loan production packages. FICS has long targeted small to mid-size lenders with its products, and CEO Dawn Gibbs suggested in her opening remarks at the conference that a recent refinancing boom has helped this group of lenders moreso than some of the nation's larger lenders. "For many years, I have seen clearly that the strength of the mortgage industry as a whole lies not with the very largest financial institutions and lenders, but with the types of institutions that you all represent. I have believed in this so strongly that, for more than two decades, I have built this company around serving that market specifically," she said. "Today, while the biggest lenders are flailing, it is you that are successfully stepping up and making the moves that will lead an entire industry -- perhaps our nation's economy -- to better days." Like most vendors, FICS officials say the user conference is a way for the company interact more directly with its customer base. "This year's annual User's Conference offered our customers the opportunity to network with other FICS users facing similar challenges in the current economy, which was even more important this year as the fast paced and ever-changing environment has forced most of our customers to keep up with the increased work load without increased staff," said Susan Graham, FIC president. "Having a forum to discuss the best ways to successfully accomplish this was very beneficial for customers." Next year's Annual FICS Users' Conference will be held April 7-9 at the Embassy Suites Hotel Dallas-Frisco, the company said in a press statement. Write to Paul Jackson at paul.jackson@housingwire.com.