The biggest year at Accountex yet!
Accountex has reported a record turnout for another successive year. The UK’s biggest event for the accountancy and finance profession welcomed 7,021 attendees (a 7% increase for 2017) to London ExCeL over 10-11 May.
The who’s who of visitors included many of the country’s top accountants, finance directors, accounts managers, tax professionals, heads of IT, bookkeepers, and sole practitioners (working in practice, industry, and the public sector). For them, Accountex is the “must attend” event for discovering the best new products, tools, solutions, insights, and innovations of the year.
Among them were representatives from organisations as diverse as Alexander Dennis, Alliance Healthcare, Burberry, Centrica, Christie’s, Defra, DHL, Emirates, Fox Networks Group, The Gap, HMRC, Liberty Global, NatWest, NHS, Ministry of Justice, Paragon Group, Post Office, Royal Academy of Arts, The Bank of England, and Transport for London. Plus senior names from PwC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, Grant Thornton UK, BDO, Smith & Williamson, Moore Stephens, and Mazars (nine of the top ten firms listed in Accountancy Age’s Top 50+50 Survey for 2016).
Significantly, the strong footfall has been backed by glowing testimonials from across the show floor. Fantastic, brilliant, inspiring, informative, relevant, recommended, worthwhile, and enjoyable are just some of the words attendees have used to describe the show so far. While initial survey results reveal that over 70% of visitors are already planning to return next year.
“Accountex is a fantastic way of putting your finger on the pulse of the profession,” says Rob Whitehead, partner at Jolliffe Cork.
“We love Accountex! We saw some great products that we will definitely incorporate into our business. We also discovered new features on software that we already have. It was a great day,” says Maggie Doughty, owner of The Payroll & Tax Accountants.
“It was like being in an all-you-can-eat buffet that served all your favourite foods!” says George Waore, accountant at Integrity Recruitment Consultancy.
“Accountex is an excellent opportunity to find out what is happening, what others are doing and what’s in the market to support accountants and make them more profitable. Great food for thought and assistance to plan our strategy for the next couple of years,” says Yvonne Harper, finance director at Campbell Dallas LLP.
“Accountex set us up to plan the next 12 months of training and administrative improvements to our processes. The value we get from attending is practice-wide. So much so that we close the office so the entire workforce can benefit from the seminars and fantastic products on offer! We will certainly be attending next year,” says Ellie Farrell, Charles Black Associates.
“Best Accountex yet! Great people, great suppliers, the atmosphere was brilliant and the keynotes were fantastic!” says Steven Briginshaw, founder of Endgame Success (and a former chartered accountant).
The industry’s favourite show
Zoe Lacey-Cooper, event director of Accountex, calls the support of the show ‘phenomenal’.
“We are absolutely delighted that the show has been such a success,” she says. “This was the first year that Diversified had full, 100% control of Accountex after acquiring the event from Prysm in 2016, and we have been overwhelmed by the positive reactions from our visitors, exhibitors, speakers, associations and media partners. Their support has been phenomenal.
“We’ve spent a lot of time consulting with the industry over the past year to understand how we could take what was already an amazing show to the next level. And, from the feedback we’ve received already, I think that we achieved that and more!
“This year’s line-up offered our visitors an unrivalled opportunity to exchange information about the latest technologies and services on the market, and get expert advice and inspiration from some of the profession’s leading innovators and key thinkers. From the ‘buzz’ across the show floor, to the 14 theatres all full-to-the-brim, as well as the 200 exhibition stands that looked incredible – it was a very busy, valuable and productive two days for everyone involved.
“This is a really exciting time for the profession – and the accounting industry is full of positivity and enthusiasm for what’s to come. Accountex is already by far the most important and effective business event for the sector, and we have lots of new ideas on how we can grow and develop the show even further. We’ll be working closely with all our partners, associations and exhibitors over the coming year to ensure that Accountex continues to provide everything that our visitors need to run their businesses successfully,” she says.
It was the quality of attendees, high level of engagement, and quantity of new business leads that impressed countless exhibitors. Prompting nearly 45% of them to rebook for next year before the show had even closed. FreeAgent, Thomson Reuters, IRIS, BrightPay Payroll Software, Webexpenses, Reckon, Receipt Bank, Spotcap, Epayslipsecure, DataDear, Informanagement, CaseWare UK, Octopus Blue, Octopus Investments, and Futrli were among them. While TaxCalc, QuickBooks and Sage have also reserved their stands for 2018.
Summing up their exhibitor experience, Joel Oliver, CEO of MyFirmsApp, said: “Awesome! Where else can you achieve so much, in so little time? Accountex delivered us more accountants than we could handle, with our team literally swamped – a fantastic event yet again it just keeps on getting better year on year.”
“Very rarely you go to an event and it is just perfect. Accountex absolutely smashed it! The event itself, the exhibitors’ stands, the huge number of attendees on both days, the vibe…I could go on forever. And if anyone needs convincing that exhibitions work, we had created enough new business in the first hour of day one to pay for the event! Loads of meetings booked, loads of exposure and loads of free sweets, coffees, hugs and handshakes. Bring on Accountex 2018!” says Alex Weddell, accountancy channel sales at HD business (exhibiting as bob).
Show highlights for 2017
One of the show’s key draws has always been its exceptional conference content, including 180+ CPD accredited Keynotes, seminars, panel sessions, and interactive workshops. Nearly 15% of visitors attended the show on both days – over double the number that did so in 2016. Event organiser Diversified UK estimates (from survey feedback) that close to 90% of visitors took in at least one seminar during their time spent at the show.
Highlights included standing-room only sessions featuring leading industry commenters like Justin Urquhart Stewart (7IM); tax specialist Paul Aplin OBE; Dominic Allon (QuickBooks); Gary Turner (Xero), Alan Laing (Sage UK & Ireland); James Akrigg (Microsoft UK), John Stokdyk (AccountingWEB); Tony Margaritelli (ICPA), Anita Monteith (ICAEW); Richard Wild (CIOT); Steve Checkley (TaxCalc); John Hale (NEST); Mark Purdue (Thomson Reuters); Wendy Rowe (Wolters Kluwer); Mark Wickersham (Effective Pricing); Mark Lee (BookMarkLee); Steve Pipe (AVN); Ed Molyneux (FreeAgent); and Graeme Brand (Barclays).
Accountex Summit North launched
As in previous years, visitors based across the south of England were by far the London show’s biggest audience. Given the tens of thousands of accountants that are based across the Midlands, North of England and Wales, Scotland and ROI – many of which are unable to attend Accountex due to travel considerations – Diversified UK recently announced the launch of Accountex Summit North.
The free-to-attend, one day conference will take place at Manchester Central on 6 March 2018. By offering the same high profile content as Accountex, in a more accessible location, it aims to fill a significant gap – and a real need – for a dynamic regional event for these important accountancy professionals.
For further information, and to register to attend, please visit www.accountexsummitnorth.co.uk.
Save the date for 2018
Firmly established as the flagship event in the accounting calendar, and enjoying the active support of all the relevant industry associations and training bodies, Accountex will return to London ExCeL next year on 23-24 May.
For further information about the 2017 show – including its 200 exhibiting companies and conference sessions – the online Show Guide is still available to view at www.accountex.co.uk/accountex-show-guide.