What lies in store for accountants at Accountex 2018?

What lies in store for accountants at Accountex 2018?

Accountex is stepping up its game this year with over 50 new speakers, increased focus on diversity, and a celebration of all the latest technology that accountants should be using

The accountancy profession is gearing up for Accountex 2018 – the two-day exhibition and conference dedicated to accountancy and finance. Ahead of next week’s event, Accountancy Age spoke to Accountex’s event director Zoe Lacey-Cooper to find out what this year’s exhibition has in store for accountants across the UK.

Accountex 2018 is ready to launch. With 280 speaker sessions, 20 theatres and 228 exhibitors, the show is set to be a hive of activity, drawing in accountants from across the country to engage with its packed programme and networking opportunities.

This year’s event will feature 106 brand new exhibitors – 45% of the total number in the show. In addition, the team has added 50 brand new speakers to its programme. While the team was originally concerned that the deferment of the Making Tax Digital initiative would have an impact on numbers, Accountex 2018 sold out three weeks prior to the show, something which Lacey-Cooper says demonstrates “the strength of the profession and what’s been going on”.

The team has made a particular effort to gain a good understanding of what the profession needs so that the industry discussions can be reflected in the event programme.

“Although we’ve had some great speakers in the past, I think we needed to step it up this year,” says Lacey-Cooper. “We’ve actually got over 50 brand new speakers on the programme – mainly focusing on actual case studies from accountants who are firstly good at speaking but who can also present quantifiable results about how they’ve improved their own practice. The consultants are great – they’ve got great advice – but to actually hear it from the people who have experienced it, breathed it – I think those sessions will be very popular.”

The team has also strengthened diversity across the programme. In 2017, 18 women were featured as speakers. This year, 44 women will take on a speaker role. In addition, the team has launched a Women in Accountancy group, spearheaded by Elaine Clark from CheapAccounting.co.uk. Following its success at the Accountex Summit North in March, further roundtables will take place in London.

“I think the reason why the roundtables are successful in this profession is that there’s a lot of people who have got really good point of views but they don’t want to stand up on the stage and talk about it. They want to talk amongst each other,” says Lacey-Cooper.

The millennial generation is another area of focus for the show this year with a panel discussion chaired by Guy Pearson of Practice Ignition one of the events designed to attract millennials to the show and see Accountex as an event at which they can find new technology.

The team has introduced a new registration system under which all attendees have been asked whether they are tech-savvy, tech-curious or tech-cautious. “We’re trying to tailor make [the programme] to where they are in the technology journey,” says Lacey-Cooper. Based on their registration responses, attendees will have a tailor-made list of seminars appropriate to their tech experience.

So with new initiatives, roundtables and panel discussions taking place next week, what is Lacey-Cooper most looking forward to at this event?

“I think some of the new kids on the block – the new speakers who are coming out – they’re brilliant. It’s watching them grow and develop and write books – I quite enjoy that bit.”

And after Accountex, what lies in store for the team?

“What we’ve got going in terms of brand extension is really positive – Accounting Insight News, people are subscribing. We have a lot of extra information and we want to be able to share it. It’s exciting so we want to put a lot of thought into that.

“We’ve got Accountex Summit North in September next year as well. That’s going to be a little bit bigger and a little bit better, but we’re just going to stop for a bit and look what we’ve got across the three brands, really focus on them and put a lot of effort into making them good.”

Accountex 2018 will take place on 23-24 May at the ExCeL in London. Register for free for the event here. 

 

 

 

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