The Monday mindset: 3 July 2017
Fintech zeitgeist! Every Monday, we might look back at last week; look ahead to this week; share a few thoughts (our own or others); or discuss anything that catches our eye.
This week, Banking Technology’s deputy editor Antony Peyton mulls briefly on the world of fintech events.
Having attended what feels like every fintech event on the calendar, from Toronto to Hong Kong, and everything in-between, I want to share a few views.
First up. You have to hand it to most of the organisers. The events are slick, polished and well-managed affairs. Like a grinning and insincere car salesman – smooth and lacking any spontaneity. The shows have the speakers, content, marketing and location all done right. That’s probably a given.
However, this means a lot of events have the same corporate vibe. There’s no difference. A few organisers add some nice touches – such as a barber or games area, but that’s superficial stuff and most of us don’t have time to mess around with all that. Damn it.
The fintech world is also too cosy. It’s not really an arena. More of a bouncy castle where people squeal excitedly, and jump and down. None of the debates I watch are electrifying. People agree or slightly disagree with the politeness of an Agatha Christie novel… but there’s no edge or real discussion.
A solution would be to get people with differing views on panels. I’m not looking for something like a Wild West-style bar room brawl or a Jerry Springer show bust-up (although that’d be welcome), but it can’t be saccharine sweet all day long. The rhythm needs to be broken at some point.
Lastly, I think we all know this, but the events are too male-dominated. (Apart from journalists, where I noticed a 50-50 split in the press room. If we can do it, then you lot can.) Every show, in terms of delegates and speakers, is very similar with a 95%-5% split between men and women. Kind of worrying.
It could be fixed. Invite women to speak and do the panels. For female delegates, they should get a reduced rate or even get in free (I know some conferences are starting to do that).
But I doubt any of this will happen. The fintech events world will keep on keeping on with the same style and mix as before.
See you at the next one – and I bet I know what will happen.
Last week’s Monday mindset somehow managed to be about a bank that’s rural and global.
If you’re interested in contributing to our Monday mindset, contact our editorial team.