2020 was a year almost everything changed for most of the industries, but there is one that was affected especially severely, yet it manages to adapt. Trade fairs and conferences, including FinTech events, went 100% online and you can still take part in most of them. Moreover, thanks to dedicated platforms, it’s now easier and more accessible than ever.
Since we can’t meet at expos, but we still want to exchange experiences and present our solutions, the Internet seems to be the only solution. But how did FinTech events manage to rearrange themselves in the pandemic reality? Let’s find out by checking out the most interesting ones you can attend in 2021 without even leaving your home office. As a bonus, we’ll also take a look at software that makes it all possible.
FinTech events that didn’t give up
Not all of the annual expos and conferences take place this year, but, fortunately, most of them are going to be hosted online. The most interesting FinTech events you can attend in 2021 include:
- MoneyLIVE Summit
- Paris FinTech Forum
- UK FinTech Week 2021
- MIT FinTech Conference
Let’s take a closer look at each of them to find out what they are going to be focused on and what you can expect from them.
MoneyLIVE Summit 2021
When? March 15th – April 29th
MoneyLIVE Summit has undergone a spectacular metamorphosis. Just two years ago, it was a conventional FinTech event that took place for just two days and where hundreds of visitors could partake in panel discussions with experts and network freely. This time, however, it’s completely different.
MoneyLIVE 2021 is divided into three types of attractions:
- MoneyLIVE TV – a series of 10 episodes where industry experts and representatives of the most important UK banks discuss various topics, ranging from strategies to succeed in the post-COVID world, through digital wallets, to CX transformation. The first episode will air on 15 March and the last episode on 29th April.
- MoneyLIVE Content Corner – a library of high quality content available to all attendees, also after MoneyLIVE TV is over. Here, you’ll find tons of videos, podcasts, reports and even innovation pitches.
- MoneyLIVE Connect – every FinTech related event must be a networking opportunity. MoneyLIVE Connect allows the attendees for 1-1 connections, group discussions, roundtables, contacting the speakers and much more.
All three parts of the event will be available through a dedicated app.
Standard tickets cost £350.00 + VAT (which is less than in 2019), but if you represent a financial organisation (bank, alternative lender, etc.), you are welcome to attend for free.
UK FinTech Week 2021 (featuring Innovate Finance Global Summit)
When? April 19th – 23rd
Dubbed the best opportunity to discover why the UK is and will remain the world’s preeminent financial services hub, UK FinTech Week 2021 purpose is showcasing innovation in financial services on a global scale – there are going to be delegates from over 105 countries there!
This year’s edition is going to focus on the following themes:
- Beyond the Crisis: The Future of Global FinTech – Monday 19th & Tuesday 20th April
- Spotlight on FinTech Trends: What’s the Next Big Thing? –Wednesday 21st April
- Building Back Better: FinTechs Role in Economic Recovery – Thursday 22 April
- Inspiring the Future FinTech Leaders – Friday 23 April
In total, it’s 5 days of intense discussions, workshops and meetings. For even more efficient networking, the event offers you an innovative matchmaking feature which should allow you to connect with people who are interested in what you have to offer.
If you’re interested in getting a ticket, but still hesitate, you can watch quite a lot of videos from previous editions on the Innovate Finance Youtube channel, it should give you an idea of what to expect. You can also watch all sessions from the 2020 edition for free on the event’s website.
Paris FinTech Forum 2021
When? Whole 2021
Why limit yourself to only one country, when you can participate in a large-scale event spanning throughout 10 months without even leaving your bed? Paris FinTech Forum lets you do exactly that.
“In five editions, from 2016 to 2020, the Paris Fintech Forum has become the Davos of digital finance and Fintech.”Laurent Nizri, CEO Altéir Consulting & Altéir Event, Founder of the Paris Fintech Forum.
Previous editions of the Paris FinTech Forum gathered thousands of attendees and hundreds of CEOs who represented banks, insurers, regulators and, last but not least, FinTechs. This time, as it is impossible to gather such crowd under one roof, the organizers have decided not just to transfer everything on-line, but also to reinvent the formula by dividing the event into six international, thematic streams (Global System, Payment, Open Banking, Beyond Finance, Digital Assets and Sustainable Finance).
As each year, PFF FinTech Awards 2021 are going to be awarded to 4 best contenders. In the new formula, 40 candidates selected out of over 600 applications will have a chance to pitch in front of the jury and only 4 will succeed.
Besides that, extra content, such as podcasts and videos has already been put online in mid January and you’ll be able to access it until the end of the year. Right now, a basic ticket costs just €180, which is a great deal, considering the amount of attractions you get for the sum and that the standard price used to be €300.
MIT FinTech Conference 2021
When? March 5th
MIT FinTech Conference is probably the most conventional of all on-line conferences, as it actually takes place in just one day, has a limited number of tickets (only 2000 are available) and is organized by students or fresh graduates of MIT. It’s a perfect opportunity to either find startups to invest in, to take part in the Startup Competition and find investors or to just network with promising, young entrepreneurs.
The competition part seems especially exciting, as the MIT FinTech Conference hosts the largest stage of all student-run FinTech events in the world and this year it is open globally. 50 contenders have been chosen out of over 170 applications this year, be sure to check them out! Too bad it’s already too late to send applications, but why don’t you just watch this time and compete next year?
Topics of the most interesting sessions you can attend at MIT FinTech Conference 2021 include:
- Digital payments
- FinTech in emerging markets
- Alternative lending
- Blockchain in consumer FinTech
- Venture capital and investors in FinTech
- Money and data policy in FinTech
If you’re new in the world of startups, you should definitely take part in the MIT FinTech Conference 2021, as it was created for people just like you. And the tickets are very affordable, with prices starting at just $30 for students.
Software behind the scenes of the digital FinTech events
Obviously, it would be crazy to create dedicated apps for each event. Such an app (either mobile or web-based) is usually extremely complex, as it must allow for live video streaming, live interactions with speakers (usually through a chat) and a number of social network features. Simply speaking, software that lets you take active part in an event is a mix of Twitch, Discord, Linkedin, Facebook and an old-school internet forum, all in one.
An example of a platform created for events held on-line is Whova Conference Platform.
I had an opportunity to to test it in action when I was attending a large-scale conference in 2020 (CODASummit), and I found it a surprisingly practical solution. I especially liked its simplicity and user-friendliness. These qualities in particular make it a platform which doesn’t discriminate against those who are not power-users. However, I also experienced a number of minor UI issues. For example, in order to start a chat with somebody, I had to manually find this person in the correct section of the app, I couldn’t just click a person’s name and choose a “chat” icon, which seems to be the intuitive (and how it works on most of the social networks, e.g. Linkedin). Another issue that I hope is solved by now, was the necessity of using Zoom to participate in a session as a speaker. Apparently, integration with an external app was the most optimal solution for Whova’s developers.
Party hard at virtual FinTech events
The most attractive aspect of FinTech events held on-line seems to be their global reach and accessibility, however thanks to the plentiness of options offered by available software, almost everything is possible. Did you know that you can even take part in celebration after-parties at the events? One of the most common ways to do it is using MMO games, such as Second Life. The most fun aspect of partying this way is the possibility to create your avatar any way you like and even modify it later!
Don’t stay bored, learn and grow at virtual FinTech events in 2021
We’re super-lucky to be able to take part in more FinTech events in 2021, than in 2020. Even though some of the annual conferences have been canceled, most of them managed to reinvent themselves and adapt to the new world and become more accessible than ever. What is even better, is the sheer variety, not only when it comes to the events themselves, but also to the wide array of ways they can be organized. See you at the next virtual conference, where we will be able to exchange experiences and have a drink at a Second Life party!