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Rebecca Benneyworth presenting Tax Talk live

AWEB Live Expo shortlisted at event industry Oscars

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AccountingWEB’s first Live Expo in December has made the shortlist of two exhibition awards. 

22nd Feb 2022
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Coventry became the epicentre of the accounting profession on 1 and 2 December last year with the launch of the two-day AccountingWEB Live Expo event, and the success of this exhibition has been recognised at the Academy Awards of the event industry. 

AccountingWEB Live Expo is a finalist in the Rising Star and the best trade show under 2,000 sqm categories in the prestigious Exhibition News (EN) awards. The results of the EN awards will be unveiled on 3 March. 

The event industry recognition matches the positive feedback from attendees across the two-day expo, praising the depth and breadth of speakers, CPD content, and practical seminars on the latest tech trends, practice growth and MTD ITSA.

The majority of attendees (91%) said they want to come back in 2022 and customer experience feedback was well above industry average.

Attendees got the opportunity to make a headstart on their spring software shopping plans by meeting over 80 vendors and learning how their products can assist their growth, including the headline sponsors Dext, IRIS, Sage, TaxCalc and Xero. 

AccountingWEB came alive

Regular visitors of AccountingWEB experienced the online site come to life; contributors like Julia Penny, Jason Croke, Rebecca Cave, Kate Upcraft, Steve Collings, and David Winch delivered specialist seminars on regulatory and tax updates, while Any Answers became a literal forum in the centre of the exhibition hall. 

MTD ITSA was a big theme across the event. Tax Talk Live host Rebecca Benneyworth presented a whole programme of practical seminars with tax experts such as former ICAEW president Paul Aplin and software industry representatives like IRIS’ Steve Cox and Sage’s Chris Downing.

Benneyworth also shared the stage with HMRC chief executive Jim Harra. HMRC’s head honcho took onboard audience questions (and complaints) on penalties and agents, and he also talked about the tax authority’s plans to reform the basis period. And in one of the most anticipated sessions, HMRC’s head of MTD Giles McCallum outlined the vision for tax digitalisation and also responded to the backlash to his article published on AccountingWEB in October.

The event wasn’t just about MTD. Mazuma co-founder Lucy Cohen led a number of sessions on wellbeing and mental health, including a popular session on the importance of setting boundaries and saying ‘no’ to clients

The event also shined a light on the progressive themes within the profession: the rise of the virtual finance director movement, the importance of promoting diversity within accountancy, and advice on becoming a super-specialist pulled in big audiences at the venue.  

The event wasn’t just a sit back and take notes affair; attendees were able to engage face to face with vendors after months of lockdowns. There were also interactive sessions such as the timesheet debate, where Lucy Cohen and Alastair Barlow defended the untapped potential of timesheets against timesheet deniers Reza Hooda and Aynsley Damery, and a ‘client from hell’ discussion with Glenn Martin and David Winch that could have been ripped straight from the Any Answers forum.   

Work is now already underway planning for 2022’s AccountingWEB Live Expo, coming again from the Coventry Building Society Arena on 30 November and 1 December. 

What were your highlights from the exhibition? What would you like to see more of at the Live Expo this year?

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