Day 93 of Sibos
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20 September 2011Gareth Lodge
Or so it feels already. Whilst Sibos officially opens 9am on Monday, the reality is slightly different. The logistics mean that the conversations start on the planes flying in. I sat next to one of my favourite journalists, Jane Copper from The Banker, I made a new contact in Fiserv in the seat behind me and I moved a proposal forward in the taxi line somewhat faster than the line actually moved. And it’s pretty hard to find someone in the official hotels not attending the event. Furthermore, meetings and events take place before hand – Swift partner meetings on Sunday morning were followed by parties. I had 3 parties under my belt before the opening bell on Monday. In terms of topics and trends, most of my insights come from the meeting, both formal and informal – with so many meetings in the diary, many delegates, myself included, will attend only a few, if any, conference sessions. Regulation unsurprisingly is in every conversation. The Vickers report (the UK banking reforms) being new, has probably come up as often as the more expected topics of SEPA and Basel III. The future consolidation of suppliers is no surprise. The recent ACI/s1/Fundtech/Bankserv has been talked about, but so have many other alleged potential tie-ups (some of them mind boggling!). And I have been surprised by how many changes of people have taken place. I think this is being seen as a resurgence in confidence, indicating that, in at least the payments world, things are looking good long term. Other impressions. Stands seem to look slightly smaller this year, or rather perhaps, more uniform in size. For practical sakes, that makes navigating easier, though the hall still seems vast. But still an awful lot of money has been spent. Social media has come of age, though, the sheer volume of messages now, particularly with the marketers really having embraced twitter this year, has meant its not quite as easy to get as much instant value. At last, free wifi at a major event, which is partly driving that take-up of tweeting. However, I still wait for decent free wifi though, as the lack of access to email and the automatic 20 minute boot out is frustrating The layout – I’d be curious to see if there is a drop-off in lunch take-up. Its such a long walk (10 minutes), that if you weren’t hungry before you set off, you were by the time you arrived! Many of us have to snatch lunch - this takes long to walk there than you've allowed for lunch itself Finally – a big thanks to my hosts at the various events, parties and meetings so far. Much appreciated, especially those who have really gone out of their way to make some very important introductions happen.