Finlantern is the organizer of FinDating, the event for the financial world taking place in Geneva on June 22nd.
Riccardo Esposito, Finlantern's CEO, explains the importance of exchanges between financial actors.
How did you come up with the idea of organizing FinDating - did you feel there was a niche that needed to be filled or did any of your contacts approach you regarding it?
Everything happened very spontaneously since FinLantern is an international network and needs to create meeting opportunities with all its members in the major financial centres. In particular, in Geneva today we have a contact DB of over 6,000 professionals working in the finance field. The opportunity, however, came when a long-time partner who had organized the first edition of an event in Geneva decided, at the beginning of 2016, to give us his brand: FINDATING precisely. This was also the first official acquisition of FinLantern.
Why the idea of dating, both in the name and in the "speed dating" event?
We could say it happened by chance, although according to quantum physics such a thing as chance could just not exist. FINDATING was the name of the event attributed by our partner who then gave us the brand. INVESTMENT SPEED DATING is our financial review of the best-known "speed dating", in which the idea is to allow investors to find in a short time a large number of opportunities in which to invest, and to the companies to meet a large number of investors while forcing them to concentrate exclusively on the very basic aspects of their business in a presentation that lasts up to 180 seconds.
The concept, however, is similar to the speed dating in the romance field: we create opportunities in the "real" world, because business opportunities can only be developed face-to-face (with good peace of the so-called virtual fairs).
What does Geneva offer as a hub for such an event?
Geneva is a truly remarkable hub: the second financial centre in Switzerland, but possibly the first in commodities trading. FinLantern has an important database of contacts, mostly focused on private banking, family office, asset mgmt, online trading. In addition, there are many finance-related events in Geneva, although some of them do not guarantee a suitable level of quality, while those that are good quality often did not guarantee continuity over time. The result is that there is no actual event in Geneva for such professionals: FINDATING, therefore, has the ambition to become the benchmark.
Is there a "proud" moment you can think about about last year's FinDating- or the organization of this one?
No, I would not be talking about a particular moment. To really be proud, it’s necessary to be so about the whole: of the ability to offer a totally free event with around 300 delegates, who can attend conferences on topics of current interest, of always being able to bring outstanding speakers, of offering a prestigious venue, of being able to guarantee partners / sponsors an opportunity at a cost that is probably half (if not a third) than that of other events of similar visibility ... and of course of all the staff working behind the scenes who make this possible. The secret? FinLantern is not a company that organizes events but is first of all a community… and as a good community we are able to find and develop synergies with everyone.
What requirements did you ask the participants? When is the deadline to take part in this year's / next year's event?
They must be financial professionals ... Our events are generally not open to "retail". We simply require to register at the event by completing the form and becoming a member of the community – for free.
Is there a field from which you had a particularly high number or requests - or is there one you'd like to work on on future events?
Yes. In fact, in the world of professional events, the main requirement is not just enough visibility, quantitatively speaking, but more and more to be able to meet the right people, qualitatively. This is why, from this year on we will start organizing FULL CONTACT events for a limited number of FUND SELECTORS: for 2 days guests will be in luxurious hotels, in famous tourist destinations, where they will hear commercial offers by some of the leading asset managers in Europe, and where the networking element and the building of personal relationships will be as looked after as the "business" aspect.
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