• Alex

The One Problem with Fintech Conferences

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How would you cope in the morning if you didn’t have a coffee, or a cup of tea?


When I get out of the tube in the morning I imagine half of the crowd are heading to the nearest coffee place as opposed to the front doors of their office. I see people at conferences shuffling like the walking dead towards the nearest stand offering free coffee.


Coffee, it’s safe to say, is likely keeping the fintech industry afloat right now. If you discount the harder stuff, anyway. So, naturally, it is offered gratis all over the place. Every event, every roundtable, every talk, every breakfast briefing.


Yet there is a small but significantly underserved proportion of people who can’t take advantage of this free early-morning caffeine.


I hate coffee. I hate tea. I hate all hot drinks. I always have and I always will. Do not try and persuade me that I just haven’t had the right coffee, or that I need varying amounts of sugar or milk to make it nicer for me. I just don’t like it.


Yet, like everyone else, I struggle to get up in the morning without a hit of caffeine.

For me, that hit usually comes from an energy drink, or at least a diet Coke or Pepsi.


Honestly, there are dozens of us like this.

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I’m not useless without it – a lifetime of not drinking coffee in the morning has made me resistant to early-morning fatigue – but it certainly helps.


The problem is, I can count on my fingers just how many times I have been to a conference where free energy drinks or soft drinks were available. If I stop counting Sibos then that drops to the fingers on one hand. Most of those times it was a special privilege for the press.


Fintech events industry, where is your compassion?


Where are the free energy drinks for the caffeine-deficient like me?!


I once had to drive the point of a ballpoint pen into my leg to keep myself me from falling asleep at an 8AM breakfast briefing in the city about securities trading.


Such tragic cases of self-harm could be avoided if just a small selection of drinks were available.


Oh of course the expense must be considered. But I hardly count 12 segments of uneaten dragon fruit as a worthy replacement for giving a tired reporter the ability to digest investment regulation or that keynote you organised on AI or blockchain or challenger banks etc. etc.


A conference or briefing that makes such a small concession can consider my unwavering support through thick and thin.


I have named my price, and it’s just one can of Red Bull Sugar Free.


Let’s make it happen.


Cover Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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©2019 by Alexander Hamilton.

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