Do you know your swag hunter from your mother duck? Your Accountex know-it-all from your software groupie? If not, never fear! The AccountingWEB essential guide to the accountants you’ll meet at the ExCel is here.
Accountex is less than a week away. Billed as an opportunity to network with more than 7,500 industry professionals, you’ll meet a huge variety of people at Europe’s biggest accountancy expo. But how do you know who you’re dealing with? And how should you behave when you meet them?
Always on hand to help our readers navigate the accountancy maze, here at AccountingWEB we’ve taken it upon ourselves to produce a (tongue firmly in cheek) guide to some of the personalities you may meet at the ExCel, and a few of their key characteristics.
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The mother/father* duck
A senior figure in a regional firm, the mother duck is determined to use Accountex as an opportunity to introduce the young whippersnappers in the office to the topsy-turvy world of accountancy. Complete with firm-branded t-shirts, the pack roams the exhibition hall looking for ‘learning opportunities’ and collecting free pens from the Institutes.
Overhead: “This way team, we don’t want to miss Aynsley Damery’s blockchain session”
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This isn’t the know-it-all’s first Accountex rodeo, and they’re keen to let you know this important fact. They fondly recall Spencer Kelly’s barnstorming speech about a little-known phenomenon called ‘cloud accounting’ back at Olympia 2012 and would be more than happy to explain where the profession is headed next in painstaking levels of detail.
Overheard: “I remember when it was all about the accounting”
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In stark contrast to the Accountex know-it-all, the first-timer can be found staggering, saucer-eyed around the exhibition hall. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of stands and sessions, they wander the floor aimless and dehydrated until they end up crossing into the Pet Expo next door and asking a confused flea powder vendor about Making Tax Digital.
Overheard: “Of course you can scan my badge”
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The swag hunter
Swaying under the weight of 17 tote bags filled to the brim with branded trinkets, the swag hunter is a familiar sight around the ExCel. Whether it’s assembling a bargain-basement client onboarding kit, sourcing presents for the kids or just fuelling a dangerous knick-knack habit, the swag hunter is shameless in their desire to acquire an ocean-bothering quantity of plastic.
Overheard: “Quick! There’s a new batch of stress balls on the Castaway stand!”
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The software groupie
Packing a branded backpack, Moleskine notebook and laptop sticker, the software groupie has been with their chosen system from the ground upwards. They’ve stuck through their software provider through thick and thin, and they’re here at Accountex hoping to grab a few minutes with their heroes and pick up a few hints as to what exciting direction the tool will ‘pivot’ next.
Overheard: “I was part of the beta program back in ’12!”
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The CPD skiver
It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at Accountex. A regular at all accountancy-based events, the skiver is keen to tick that CPD box and get out of Dodge. Flipping between a disinterested breeziness and nervously glancing over their shoulder to check their boss hasn’t made an impromptu visit to Docklands, the skiver is nevertheless unlikely to make the 3pm session on day two.
Overheard: “Is that the time? I’ve got a terribly important client call to get make.”
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The lesser-spotted Stokdyk
An extremely rare sighting in the wild, Accountex represents AccountingWEB readers with the best chance of glimpsing the elusive accounting tech aficionado before he darts back into his Brighton hidey-hole. Stok-ness monster spotters can, however, find him at 3pm on day one (May 1) at the How To Theatre, where he’ll be part of a live recording of accountancy’s number one podcast No Accounting for Taste.
Overheard: “Where can I get a decent avocado on sourdough around here?”
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Accountex takes place at London ExCeL on 1-2 May. Attending is free if visitors register in advance or is £25 on the door. Register for a free ticket to attend here.
*And if any AccountingWEB readers know whether ducklings follow their father around, instead of/as well as their mother, do let us know in the comments below.