Finovate events are showcases of the biggest and most innovative ideas in financial and banking technology. This week, we’re joined by Greg Palmer, VP and host of Finovate, who shares the ins and outs of the company, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of digital technology.
Finovate aims to be the go-to place for what’s happening in Fintech. When he shares about what makes Finovate special, Greg highlights the live 7-minute demo. Instead of having companies share about what they intend to do in the future or what they have done in the past, Finovate asks them to present their technology right there and then. From the audience’s perspective, they get to see a whole range of unique innovations in a short amount of time. From a presenter’s standpoint, they have an unparalleled opportunity with 7 minutes of undivided attention from some of the biggest people in Fintech. Greg believes that the ‘show me’ aspect of Finovate is what brings people back. It’s really easy to build a slide deck. It is much harder to code something and build it. For a lot of people, their future can really be determined by how those 7 minutes go.
Public speaking isn’t easy. However, Greg notes that people are better at giving demos than they think they are. Rather than the staff at Finovate, it is really the audience that pushes and encourages people to present. If presenters do not do a live demo of their product, the assumption from the audience is that the product doesn’t work. That is what drives presenters to showcase their products and Greg is always impressed by how good of a job people do.
Due to the pandemic, Finovate has had to shift its events online, causing Greg to miss the physical showcases. To him, there’s nothing in the world like being backstage, when the lights come up and you walk onto the stage with all eyes on you. It is this feeling and many other features of in-person events that are difficult to replicate digitally. Nonetheless, Greg is proud of how Finovate was still able to adapt and run digitally. While they were not massive shows, Finovate was still able to match innovators with financial institutions who needed to know about them. With this experience, Finovate will be able to combine online and in-person elements to present a hybrid event solution. Greg believes this to be the future of events as people might have developed a taste for virtual showcases and some may not be quite comfortable with travelling yet. From this perspective, it is important for Finovate events to be accessible digitally.