Sometime in the spring of 1995, I attended my first ever industry event at the New York Hilton. FinTech, as a word, was barely used (outside of our little office in Soho). The trade show was filled with trading turrets and real-time market data vendors. There were panel sessions, keynotes address and several floors of exhibitors. In the evening many of the sponsoring companies took suites and penthouses in the Hilton to host cocktail parties and press gatherings (Oh my, the 90s were kinda fun).
For the life of me I could not tell you the name of the guy who sat three rows behind me while I watched a panel on securities settlement times – nor any of the people on stage (I know they said things like T+3 and T+1 often).
Since then, and many many shoes later, I have attended, reported on, spoken at and created events in the innovation and FinTech space all over the world. While I have listened to keynotes that rocked my world, I have sat through many more that made me think about calling my doctor to schedule that pap smear I had been putting off.
The times that have made a difference in my life were the unscripted moments. Someone commenting on my Twitter feed led to speaking at SXSW a year later. Bumping into an old friend in a ladies’ rest room led to a job that saw me going back to full time work after having a baby. And draining an end of conference bar dry in Berlin led to the creation of the FinTech Cocktail Club and, in a way, led to my joining the company we are trying to build now.
It is the intimate, the engaging, the personal conversations that lead to real connections that turn into friendships and business opportunities. But how can you create those types of scenarios? How do you engineer serendipity?
The answer is to go small. Create intimate spaces, where people can discuss and network and go deep on various issues affecting our industry. That is why we launched The TECHTalents Society – a series of breakfast roundtables, held every month, where digital leaders and innovation thinkers can debate, discuss and dissect the most pressing issues of the day. We believe that this industry is crying out for gatherings that inform, connect and do not waste your time. (and if you throw in good coffee and a bacon roll – you will also not go hungry).
The response to our little email announcement went over and beyond what we expected. Over a thousand people registered their interest in attending one or more of our breakfast roundtables. These include heads of innovation and digital at leading global institutions, founders of dynamic startup and growth companies and academic heads at the UK and Europe’s leading universities. Our email inboxes started to groan under the pressure.
But this post does not aim to complain about the pressure. Our goal at VC Innovations is to offer our communities the experiences, events and content they want and need. We are happy and pleased our FinTech community is as excited as we are about our TECHTalents Society Roundtable Series.
As a reminder – each roundtable is free to attend. However, spaces are limited. Each gathering will be small and intimate – by design. A variety of roundtables will be run under the TECHTalents banner, while others will be organised in conjunction with our partner companies. If you are interested in partnering with us to run a roundtable on your preferred themes and audience group – please arrange a call with our team today.
Once you register your interest in a roundtable – you will receive a confirmation of interest email. Following that, at least two weeks prior to the event, you will receive confirmation of attendance and venue location.
Each roundtable will include:
- A spirited debate and opportunity to network with your peers, conducted under The Chatham House Rule
- A buffet breakfast of both hot and cold food, as well as coffee and tea and juice
- Access to a follow-up blog outlining the general findings of the talk.
Thank you all and may 2019 be the year of a successful TECHTalents family of events and experiences.