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.”