Rethinking Live Fintech Events and Summits in the Time of COVID-19

Rethinking Live Fintech Events and Summits in the Time of COVID-19

by May 11, 2020
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COVID-19 is continuing to spread around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy. To date, more than 251,000 people have unfortunately succumbed to the virus and the number of confirmed cases has exceeded 3.5 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The COVID-19 pandemic and necessary protection measures put in place are also severely impacting economic activity, with the International Monetary Fund projecting a sharp 3% contraction of the global economy in 2020.

In the live events space, the health crisis has caused many highly-anticipated gatherings around the world to be cancelled or postponed due to regulations and advisories from governments and public health organizations banning large crowds of people to limit the spread of the virus.

The most prominent ones include the 2020 Summer Olympics, which is being re-scheduled to 2021, the Expo 2020 Dubai global mega event, which is being moved to March 2022, and the iconic Oktoberfest in Germany, the world’s largest beer festival, which will not be taking place at all this year.

Similarly, in the fintech space, several organizers have already postponed some of their flagship events to later this year: Money 20/20 Asia, for example, will be taking place in August instead of March, Lendit Fintech USA will occur in September, Seamless will be running its Middle East edition in September instead of March, and CB Insights’ annual Future of Fintech conference will be held in November instead of June.

Other large events such as the 2020 Singapore Fintech Festival and the 2020 Hong Kong Fintech Week, appear to have not made any changes to their schedule yet and will still be running as live event later this year.

Rise of webinars, online events and virtual conferences

While many summits and conferences organizers have chosen to maintain their live events, others, on the other hand, have opted to move online, offering a virtual experience instead, and at the same time, creating new opportunities for themselves.

Finovate, for example, will be running its Asia edition online this year and will also be hosting a new digital-exclusive, five-day event in June called Finovate Fintech Halftime Review. Pay 360 Conference, Open Banking World Congress and Consensus, one of the biggest annual events dedicated to blockchain technology and digital assets, have all chosen to run as a free to attend virtual congress. And Innovate Finance, the organizer of the UK Fintech Week, ran its annual week-long event entirely digitally this year with a program comprising more than 25 webinars and podcasts.

Undeniably, virtual events have a different look and feel than live conferences, but with the coronavirus pandemic possibly lasting until 2022, organizers must rethink their business and move online.

Fintech webinars: Don’t blindly jump the bandwagon

The skill sets required to organise a physical event is hardly the same as hosting a virtual one. Many who jump into this bandwagon make the mistake of approaching it with the “build it and they will come mentality”, which led countless webinars clogging up your social media feeds with only 10 people tuning in live. This will only not prove to be a waste of you and your team’s time but quite frankly, it’s not a great look on your brand either.

Before even thinking of starting your own webinar you need to have a deep understanding of your audience and have a keen eye for what kind of content they find valuable. You’ll also need to have the right connections to bring in thought leaders who have unique insights to share and an experienced moderator to steer the conversation in the right direction.

Of course, there’s a simpler way to this, if you are within the fintech or the financial services space you can always reach out to us, we’ve spent some time perfecting our recipe in delivering results for our partners. Our most recent webinars were produced and delivered within two weeks and saw over 1,000 highly targetted participants.

In doing so we were able to meet our partner’s objective in lead generation and brand awareness while simultaneously delivering value to our audience.

If you’re keen to also work with us to design, market and host your next fintech webinar to reach out to Christian at chris@fintechnews.sg

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