2021 will be a brighter year for events – especially for fintech events run by marketers who think creatively and leverage the lessons we learned in 2020.

As far as fintech events are concerned, virtual is here to stay in 2021 – whether we like it or not.
But as we emerge from the pandemic, we can expect to see a growing desire to gather in-person and break free from the tyranny of the video conference call – at least in some limited way.

That’s the perspective of many in the industry, as well as the team here at Caliber, where we advise financial services and fintechs every day on event strategy.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider as you think through your approach to fintech events this year.

Fintech events will be virtual – but get creative

If you take a look at any upcoming fintech events (sign up for our quarterly update), it’s clear that virtual will rule the roost for at least the first half of the year. 

The factor we need to contend with this year will be virtual attendee fatigue.

Everyone has spent an inordinate amount of time in front of screens over the past year. Therefore, it’s up to those running fintech events to make it worth their while to come back for ‘another round’.

The rapid virtualization of 2020 forced fintech event producers to think creatively in order to deliver engaging experiences for attendees. 

The bar is already set well above where we began last year. So, don’t be afraid to play around with every aspect of your fintech event to make it unique.

How can you make your fintech event unique?

To make your fintech event unique, you could change up your content delivery. Mix in short videos or podcasts that attendees can consume in their own time.

Time is way more relative in a virtual world. Don’t be bound by the constraints of the traditional conference agenda. Your audience won’t stay put in front of their screens for hours on end. More breaks, shorter sessions and the ability to engage with the content after hours or even post the fintech event itself will help your engagement. 

You can also leverage the digital, to enhance the virtual. Provide opportunities to engage during your fintech event via open forums, chat or breakouts. Technology has come a long way this year – so don’t be afraid to experiment.

 Will we ever revert to in-person fintech events?

Ultimately, we are social animals and the desire to come together will grow stronger as we all start to feel safe, and comfortable, interacting in person. 

But will we revert to fully in person fintech events anytime soon – or perhaps ever? Hybrid – part virtual, part in person – events seem like a likely first step and are already on tap for 2021. 

There are different formats hybrid fintech events can take. 

For example, a “live hub” where a smaller number of socially distanced speakers, vendors and participants gather to deliver the content and network while live streaming and other virtual interactions bring in remote attendees. 

Or this could evolve into a “live remote” arrangement where you have a series of small locations that add local relevance, and connect back to the central hub. The permutations continue to grow.

Two things are for sure. High, TV-level production values will be central to these types of events and sales, and marketing and events teams will have to work more closely together to make sure both in-person and online engagement is satisfying and fruitful for both attendees and the business.

Could fintech events be smaller, but better?

Given the uncertainties that still exist out there, Harvey Hudes, CEO at Caliber, expects fintech events to scale back in size over the coming 12 to 18 months. 

He said: “High-quality, intimate fintech events will become more common. As a marketing tool, it will make sense to review what goals and expectations a business should expect to extract. It’s a real opportunity to rethink and reimagine what events can look like and offer.”

We’re looking forward to working with our clients on the evolution of fintech events over the next 12 months. With a brightening mood – and eventually a growing willingness to gather in person once again – there are plenty of creative options to explore.

Thinking through your 2021 events strategy? We would love to talk