Accountex - an outsider's perspective

Last week I went to a pensions conference (Workplace Pensions Live) and a trade show (Accountex).

The Pensions Conference had a lot of talk but not much action, Accountex was the other way round.

I couldn't help agreeing with Nick Ayton of Friendly Pensions (who like me went to both) that a lot more work was going on at Accountex.

Work at one of these events is defined as "engagement" - using the little grey cells rather than drifting aimlessly from session to session vaguely understanding what is said and retaining enough of it to justify your time out of the office.

The bulk of the people at Accountex were there on their own time- most delegates I talked to had their own businesses and were there to find out how they could run things more efficiently, deliver more to their clients and thereby stay ahead of their competitors.

By comparison, people at #WPL14 seemed less driven- there was little urgency and less engagement.

The memories I have of Accountex were of speakers challenging their audiences to change their ways, to buy into a trade body or adopt new codes of practice or use technology to improve things.

One guy talked for fifteen minutes on how he used his smartphone to run his business. He was projecting what he was doing on his phone onto a screen so we could follow him.

I walked into another session where someone was arguing that accountants should have nothing to do with auto-enrolment, that it was a PI claim waiting to happen, someone in the audience told him he was talking rubbish!

Everywhere I went at Accountex I was bumping into people (and not in that social way)- it was like Brownian motion as accountants and book-keepers rushed from one stand to another keen to get the most out of their time.

Which is why I will be spending more of my time influencing accountants and less of my time smooching with pension people. I want some of that energy!

Thanks though to both, David, Maggie, Laura and Sam - it's a great pensions show- Webb was good - but the party's over.

thanks to AccountingWeb for sending me your way. You guys could teach us a few things about work.

events-workplace-pensions-live-2014 More action -less talk! I get it.

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Accountex's picture

Great to hear!    2 thanks

Accountex | | Permalink

Hi Henry

Just a quick note to thank you for taking the time to blog about Accountex.

We try very hard to be different and bring way more exciting content to our audience than they are used to at the "normal" events they attend and this seems to be working very well.

Accountex has grown over three editions to be the leading event in the industry across Europe and has been nominated for two awards along the way. 

We are not going to slow down and are already planning a bigger and better show for next May.

We are delighted with our new headline media supporter - accountingWeb, and feel that the two products of online and live interaction at the show complements each other extremely well and long may it continue.

Kind regards

Scott Hider

Group Event Director

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Everybody in the pension world knows about the Pension PlayPen. it's a Linked in group, a website to choose pensions and it's a blog for the thoughts of its founder Henry Tapper.

The Pension PlayPen exists to encourage people to see Workplace Pensions as of benefit both to employers and to their staff.

George Osborne has gone a long way to helping us - giving freedom and choice to people to spend their retirement savings as they like.

But there are many other good things going on. Not least the abolition of commissions , the capping of charges, the introduction of better governance and a general improvement in the way pensions are presented.

This blog is here to get the message out to the thousands of practitioners , finance directors and others who will have to choose (or help others choose) a workplace pension as part of the auto-enrolment process.

We won't spend time here talking about the intricacies of auto-enrolment itself. We know about it but we'd rather you read about it from our friends at ITM (who trade as EASE). We know a lot of great IFAs and HR contractors who can help you implement your AE processes and we know a fair bit about payroll, but our particular interest is in retirement and helping employers make the most of the contribution payable under the new rules.

So please feel free to ask us questions and we'll do our best to help.

Advice to employers is not regulated so there is nothing to stop you adding value to your or your client's business by "getting expert" on workplace pensions.