Why speak at Money20/20 Europe?
Money20/20 Europe is the biggest fintech event on the continent. Speaker slots are highly prized. It is an opportunity to address the industry. It provides a major boost for a company’s brand. It dramatically improves your spokesperson’s profile.
It’s the top table of fintech. But that means speaker slots are extremely difficult to secure.
Anecdotal feedback from the organisers is stark – most companies are unsuccessful and historically only 8-10% of proposals are accepted.
In 2021, Money20/20 raised the bar – insisting on more senior speakers, more creative formats, and more cutting-edge topics. And 2022 is set to be just as demanding.
The call for speakers has launched and themes are available to view here ahead of the March 1st deadline for submissions.
We spoke to Gary Dempsey, Content Lead at Money20/20 Europe to understand how the event is changing this year and what makes a successful submission.
What’s changing this year?
There’s more variety and formats - seven stages, and the exhibition floor will be much bigger.
The large main stage stays. There will be a stage in the middle of the exhibition floor that’s ‘always on’ called ‘The Pulse’. There will be a small stage between two halls hosting micro content, pitches and announcements.
And there is a new stage called ‘The Bunker’ for which attendees will have to sign an NDA to gain access – and this will focus on personal stories (founders, mistakes, calling out bad practice etc).
There will also be a sponsored with sponsored content.
Last year firms had to address the biggest questions facing the industry.
This year the overarching theme can be expressed as ‘The old way is not the right way’. And the key themes follow a similar pattern:
- Back end is out, front end is in
- Champions are out, interoperability is in
- Acquisition is out, distribution is in
- Proprietary is out, standardisation is in
- Ownership is out, permission is in
Money20/20 wants a focus on why the “ins” are so important. But they also want contrary voices, so we can rail against the themes – they’re happy to be challenged.
What’s critical to securing a slot?
A reminder of one of the most important aspect of any submission. It’s all about the why.
Any submission must do two things to be successful:
- Audience – Why will the audience get value from the session? What new things will they learn? What takeaways can then expect?
- Company – Why do you want to speak at Money20/20? What is your objective? What impact on the industry are you striving for?
Money20/20 want contrary views, so they can put on dynamic panels, that really tackle big industry issues.
Unless you can answer the why question, across these two levels and for every session, we shouldn’t submit.
Speaker success is as much about the speaker as it is about the content. The submission form is centred around a great individual with a great story.
The best chance of securing success – unless you’re the CEO of a major bank or fintech with high brand recognition (which is who will get the keynote slots – along with regulators) – is to partner with powerful brands. Yes, banks and other big institutions are a draw but not as much as big tech companies, Silicon Valley darlings, and rockstar influencers. Think fintech meets SXSW.
Unfortunately, the content team has been burned with late changes to high profile speakers and companies. If you are proposing additional speakers, they need to be confirmed and contact details included in the submission.
And no sales, business development, comms or marketing executives allowed.
Money20/20 has a gender diversity target (60:40 male: female) and ethnic diversity target (80:20 white: BME) across their whole agenda.
Panels must be 50:50 male: female. It is very unlikely that they will host a panel that does not have at least one ethnic minority represented. They also want diversity of age, disability etc. where possible.
Homogenous panels will not be accepted.
Follow the agenda
The Money20/20 Europe team will have completely built the agenda by the time the call for papers closes. Gary and the team will then ‘slot’ submissions into the framework they’ve created – so we must follow their themes.
There is not a lot of room for brand new ideas outside the themes.
Some of the industry’s largest developments that shaped the future of money have been launched at Money20/20 in the past.
They’re keen to have companies make announcements at the show in 2022. However, they have to be brand new and show stopping.
Save your biggest news for the show and share it with the whole industry.
Shortlist to making a submission successful
- Why – You must answer the why question – why does your submission matter to the industry?
- Who – Focus on the most qualified speaker, not necessarily the most senior
- Unique – Money20/20 want new case studies, the most intriguing person journeys, and never-before-seen stats – if you’ve seen similar at another conference it isn’t good enough
- Collaborate – The best submissions are often in partnership with customers, partners, investors and advocates, look outside of your business
- Diversity – Diversity isn’t a nice to have, it is an essential to have a chance of speaking
- Announce – If you have major news, announce it at the show and make it part of your submission
- Speed – Speaker slots are highly competitive, the faster the better for success