Will this year be an eventful one for you?

by | Jan 24, 2020 | Events, Strategy

Adding value through events

It‘s felt like a long January – and I’m sure that’s especially true for many accountants who have been buried in tax returns at their practices. But we’re on the home stretch now, one step nearer to spring, and to when the accountancy events calendar seems to kick off.

Many of you will already have key dates in your diaries for both big accountancy exhibitions and the smaller, more focused events addressing key themes and important financial technology developments.

Accountancy events can be a great way to gain the continued professional development (CPD) credits the accountancy institutes expect members to collect during the year.

Attending events and being in one place with your peers is also great for conveying what your firm is about and what you stand for.

That one day you take out of the office and away from client work may benefit your firm and your clients by generating business ideas, potential connections and new sources of professional support.

It pays to do your homework before you go so you don’t risk wasting a lot of valuable time flicking through the exhibitors guide on arrival and possibly missing out on keynote sessions, news of the most relevant products or services, and trends and opportunities in your market.

Some events have speed networking sessions which allow you to connect one-on-one with an expert – these often need to be booked onto in advance.

Just like you would do with your marketing strategy, plan what you want to achieve from attending a particular event.

It can help to set out some business objectives back in the office, which could be as simple as educating and inspiring your team to ensure they can effectively provide the best service for the client.

Identify which stands you want to visit and make those your priority but also stay open to deviating from the plan. You never know what new players on the scene might be able to offer your business – after all, even the Xeros of this world had to start somewhere.

I’ve put together a round-up of the larger exhibition dates for 2020 below to help shape your new calendar year.

Quickbooks Connect, London

3 – 4 March (08:30 – 18:30)

Aimed at bringing accountants, small business owners and software developers together in one place, this two-day event promises to help accounting professionals learn from advisors and industry experts, ‘empowering you to embrace technology trends and share solutions designed to help your clients thrive’.

Day one of the show is designed specifically for just accountants and bookkeepers and has topical accountant keynotes, breakout sessions and networking sessions.

Attendees from 2020 said it was an ‘ideal place to see not only the software but to learn about current matters’ and that ‘whether a business owner or an accountant, the insight you get from both sides is invaluable’.

Key speakers at this years show include:

  • Marie Donaldson – founder of Fresh Clarity
  • Will Farnell – founder and director of Farnell Clarke
  • Ria-Jayne Lincoln – owner of Ria-Jaine and Co
  • Clive Webb – senior insights manager, ACCA
  • Carl Reader – small business expert

Other useful information:

  •  An accounting professional two-day pass is currently priced at £139.
  • CPD credits can be earnt through this event.
  • Seats to workshop sessions are first-come, first-serve basis so plan ahead.
  • 98% of attendees from last year said attending had given them new ideas to use in their business which 89% saying it would allow them to serve their clients better.

You can see the full agenda here.

Digital Accountancy Show, London

26 March (09:30-20:00) The day finished with post-event drinks.

With the business and accountancy world going digital and driven by advances in technology and regulation changes, business leaders and practice owners need to be able to adapt to remain competitive.

The Digital Accountancy Show is a new event for 2020 and is promoted as the UK’s leading free-to-attend event dedicated to digital accountancy, apps and technology.

Aimed at UK accountancy professionals it is focused on helping those working in practice explore how technologies, apps and processes can help transform and improve their efficiency, profitability, and their overall clients’ experience.

The show brings together leading technology companies and there is an App Village where exhibitors dedicated to cloud based apps that integrate with Xero, Quick Books and Sage will be based.

Useful information:

  • Bite-sized power lectures ‘Lightning Talks’ will be given by some of the UK’s influential leaders from the accountancy and technology sectors discussing practice transformation to the power of data.
  • The Tech Academy will house the main stage and attendees will be able to listen to one of ten keynote speakers talking about the latest trends in accounting technology and digital transformation.
  • A unique venue – the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club Stadium.
  • Still awaiting to hear who is confirmed.

Official website.

Accountex, London

13 May (10:00 – 18:00) 14 May (10:00 – 16:30)

Branded as ‘Europe’s biggest accountancy and finance conference and expo‘.

Accountex returns in 2020 offering attendees the chance to ‘meet big global brands and cutting edge start-ups to source state of the art technology that is defining the profession.’

The show provides the opportunity to network with over 900 accountants, bookkeepers, finance directors, tax specialists and many other professionals from across the country.

The event is free to register for currently and there will be over 200 suppliers showcasing their latest accountancy and finance products/services including PracticeWeb on stand 286, so do come and say hello.

The event offers a free CPD accredited education programme with over 200 sessions covering many topics that are applicable to those in the accountancy world with industry specialist speakers which will soon be announced.

Useful information:

  • The show this year is supporting the Women in Accountancy and Finance Awards 2020 as part of its push to promote diversity in the accounting and finance sector to help tackle discrimination and showcase the achievements of women in the profession.
  • Accountex is free to enter, but registration is required. Visitors who have not pre-registered online by 5pm on Tuesday 12 May 2020 will be charged an entry fee of £25, online or on the door.
  • Access to seminars and keynotes is on a first come, first served basis.
  • You’ll get eight CPD hours from the CPD Certification Service from attending Accountex.
  • As mentioned, PracticeWeb will be on stand 286 one to put in your diary.

Official website.

Accountex North Summit, Manchester

22 September, timings still to be confirmed.

This free one-day conference from Accountex is for accountancy and finance professionals and provides practical advice and tips from industry thought leaders.

2019 had an attendance of 1,300 accountants, finance directors, bookkeepers and more, and this year sees over 80 exhibiting companies there including suppliers such as Sage, FreeAgent, Quickbooks and Xero.

You can again gain 8 CPD hours for attendance and there are over 20 free CPD seminars led by thought-leaders which promise to provide you with new solutions, innovative ideas and practical tips to help your business.

Exhibitors and Speakers have not yet been announced.

Official website.

P/A Professional Accountancy, Birmingham

6 Oct (08:30 – 17:00) 7 Oct (08:30 – 17:00)

Started in 2019, this is the second year that this free event is on. It features leading suppliers to the sector with an unrivalled education programme delivered by the professions’ thought leaders.

Based at the the NEC in Birmingham, Professional Accountancy says it attracts approximately ‘3,000 decision makers’ working within private practice and all sectors of business and industry from across the whole of the UK.

With over 100 exhibitors, 50+ speakers and the opportunity to earn CPD hours in a high quality learning environment, this may be one to add to your diaries.

2020 speakers and exhibitors have not yet been announced.

Official website.

Xerocon, London

November, timings still to be confirmed

The date for Xerocon, sometimes called ‘Glastonbury for accountants’, is still to be confirmed but will be returning to London in November this year.

Not much is known about what 2020 Xerocon will hold but, based on previous years, it won’t disappoint. There are likely to be product announcements, feature talks from world-class motivational speakers and educational content focused on teaching best practice.

As you would expect, you can also earn CPD hours at this event.

With over 3,000-plus accountants attending this conference and your ticket to Xerocon London including a full two-day conference and the Xerocon party – it is one not to be missed.

2019 official website.

AccountingWEB LIVE, Coventry

2 Dec (10:00 – 17:00) 3 Dec (10:00 – 16:00)

Our sister company is launching it’s very first exhibition and conference this year.

AccountingWEB, the UK’s leading website for accountants and finance professionals, has been bringing the accounting community together online for more than 22 years. It’s launching this free event to support, engage and empower the whole of the UK accounting community in December.

Taking place after the Autumn Budget and before self assessment season gets underway, AccountingWEB LIVE is designed to bring a blend of practical content, educational workshops and technology showcases, allowing you to get ready for the year ahead.

Educational CPD-accredited workshops, seminars and lectures will form part of this two-day event and AccountingWEB’s popular Any Answers forum on their website is also going to be recreated live inside a 100-seat theatre where attendees will be able to present their accounting and finance-related questions to panellists to answer which will consist of industry experts, accountants and politicians.

AccountingWeb Keynotes are all about the future of accounting – still relevant, still focused on the challenges you face, but designed to prep you for the future.

Insight Exchange Workshops allow you to explore a particular software decision, a marketing challenge or a recruitment conundrum. These CPD-accredited iX workshops are designed to give practical, hands-on advice.

Call for speakers is currently underway and the full programme will be announced soon.

PracticeWeb will be supporting AccountingWEB and will be exhibiting at the show helping ambitious firms through their digital marketing to help them differentiate themselves, to connect with the right prospects, and to achieve their business and marketing goals.

Official website.

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