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The Spring Conference Season Isn’t Over

  • Alex Jimenez
  • April 04, 2020

Many of us in Financial Services and Fintech rely on the two annual conference seasons, Spring and Fall, to keep informed about the changes in the industry, network with peers, and make connections with clients or vendors. The current crisis has resulted in a cancellation of the Spring conference season. Most of the conferences in the space have either cancelled or postponed to the Fall. Some have pivoted to be entirely virtual.

I was skeptical about the value of a virtual conference, but I have changed my mind after “attending” portions of Adobe’s Summityesterday. While the networking and connections part of the conference experience was not recreated, Adobe did an excellent job of presenting the content on videos many of which were produced from the presenters’ home while working from home.

I went through the calendar of scheduled conferences in Financial Services and Fintech for Spring and looked for any that have moved to be virtual. There were a few. I found that a subset of them have moved to free attendance.

MX Banking Transformation Week (March 24 –March 26) (Recorded sessions are still available)
MX describes this three-day program as “created exclusively for leaders on the cutting edge of disruption in banking, finance, and fintech.” There are some terrific sessions that shouldn’t be missed.

UK Fintech Week (April 14 – May 1)
UK Fintech Week is usually a highlight for the fintech community in the UK, Europe, and in general. As they move to be entirely virtual, they plan to share 25 online events during these two weeks.The first one is actually scheduled for April 9. There is no registration required, and no need to spend tons of time in pubs (Frankly, I like that part of it too).

Celent – Innovations & Insight Day 2020 (April 16)
Celent moved their one day in-person conference online. They’ll offer “deep dives into key technology themes and case studies of financial institutions bringing the benefits of innovation into their organizations.” The content is available live on April 16 or recorded on-demand.

FICO Virtual Event Series (April 20 – May 28)
Rather than a specific day or days, FICO is spreading their content through a series of live webinars during a month starting April 20. “The topics fall within six tracks including adaptability, digital customer engagement, risk management, operational efficiency, building trust and protecting customers.” There should be something for everyone.

Temenos’ TCF Online (April 29-30)
Temenos’ user conference has been moved to online and is free to anyone. Temenos describes it as an “interactive event including a mixture of live streaming, on-demand sessions, live chat with experts and access to the latest resources.” If you are a Temenos client or are interested in any of their solutions, it makes sense to sign up at a minimum for the in-demand sessions.

IBM Think (May 5-6)
I attended IBM Think last year and found it to be extremely informing. I was looking forward to attending this year but hadn’t registered yet. While this isn’t a Financial Services specific conference, there are many fintech sessions as well as technology that is applicable to FIs, such as cloud, Watson, IoT, and blockchain

Consensus Distributed (May 11-15)
This is the CoinDesk conference. Obviously, the focus of this conference is cryptocurrency, blockchain, and tokens in general. In their website they promise discussions around these questions: “Can central banks continue to prop up the system? What does this mean for the future of money? Will cryptocurrencies find their moment, or will the future be ruled by central bank digital currencies like China’s new digital yuan?”

They have some great speakers lined up, including one of my favorites in the fintech space, Dave Birch.

Open Banking World Congress (May 12-13)
I wasn’t planning to travel to London for this conference, but now that it is virtual – and free – I’m definitely considering it. For those of us on this side of the pond, we think Open Banking as some future model that we may have to deal with if our regulators ever get their act together. However, there are lessons from Europe and Asia that are directly related to the US market’s present and future.

PAYMENTSfn (May 13)
This free online event is built for payments practitioners –product managers, developers, operations, and others that work in e-commerce, fraud, PCI, 3DS2, and other payments disciplines. In other words, this is for the payments geeks among us. This conference was to be a two day affair so the agenda is still in flux. However, looking at some of the presenters it looks like there will be some great sessions.

VOICE Global (June 9)
While this isn’t a financial servicesor fintech specific conference, it does focus on voice UI, which many of us believe will be a dominant way that we will interface with our banks in the future. The conference promises “24 hours of superstar speakers and pioneering thinkers sharing everything from the latest trends to how voice tech is helping us through these challenging times.”

Whether you are a seasoned member of the voice-first community, or a neophyte you should check it out.

FintechTalents Virtual Spring (June 10)
FintechTalents’ virtual conference isn’t just a fintech conference. They also have networking and matchmaking, attempting to replicate the in-person experience as much as we can at this time. It will feature my good friends Brad Leimer and Theo Lau, so you know this one will be special.

Hedgeweek Live Terminal Velocity Summit (June 18)
This conference wasn’t on my radar because of its specificity. Thewebsite says:”sets out to provide a forum for delegates to understand each of the critical steps involved to successfully bring a hedge fund to market in what remains the single largest jurisdiction (from an asset raising perspective). For any new US fund manager, getting the planning right at the pre-launch phase can potentially make the difference between success and costly failure.”

After reviewing the agenda there are a few sessions I’m interested in such as the “Cyber Security & Technology Infrastructure” and the “Fund Raising Process” panel discussions.

Hopefully, when Fall comes around and the conference season starts once again, you can meet with us at Extractable. We’ll be speaking at Money 2020, Future Digital Finance, and Financial Brand Forum. We also plan to attend CXFS in July.

I hope this is helpful to some of you. Please, let me know if you have others that I have missed, and I will update this listing.

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