Accountex – the flagship event in the UK’s accounting calendar – has reported a significant 24% increase in unique visitors for 2016. The two-day event, which took place at London ExCeL on 11-12 May, featured 200 exhibitors and enjoyed a total attendance of 6,597 (not including revisits).
Visitors included accountants, bookkeepers, finance directors, MDs, accounts managers, tax professionals, and senior IT decision-makers from organisations as diverse as the BBC, American Express, L'Oreal, AstraZenenca, British Airways, Barclays, Post Office, Christie’s, B&Q, AECOM, Moody’s, Kuoni Group, Citizens Advice, Transport for London, Serious Fraud Office, Workplace Pensions Direct, Guardian Media Group, and the NHS.
Many of the country’s top accountants from leading practices like PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, Grant Thornton, BDO, Baker Tilly, Smith & Williamson, Mazars, Moore Stephens, Saffery Champness, Haines Watts, Crowe Clark Whitehill, Begbies Traynor, Kingston Smith, Wilkins Kennedy, Menzies, Buzzacott, TaxAssist Accountants, and Francis Clark (who all feature in the top 25 of Accountancy Age’s Top 50+50 Survey), were also in attendance.
As were more than 2,000 smaller accountancy practices (including sole practitioners and firms with under 50 employees).
It was this quality of attendees, the high level of engagement, and quantity of new business leads that impressed countless exhibitors – prompting over 40% of them to rebook for next year. Looking ahead, the 2017 event will boast a 15% bigger exhibition floor to accommodate increasing demand for space.
Whilst this was the 5th annual Accountex, it was the first to be hosted by its new owner Diversified Communications UK.
“We really couldn’t have wished for a better event,” comments Diversified UK’s managing director Carsten Holm. “Integrating established shows into a new company can be a huge challenge. But on this occasion, with the support of The Prysm Group, its exhibitors and the UK’s most important accountancy associations, the integration of Accountex has been virtually seamless. It’s been fun and a very positive development for the future of this essential industry event.”
“The reaction to the show has been incredible,” says new event director Zoe Lacey-Cooper. “This was Diversified’s first year taking the reigns over on Accountex from Prysm, and we are absolutely delighted that the show has been such a success, with attendance up to over 6,500.
“The ‘buzz’ of business being done across the show floor was unmistakable! Seminars were absolutely full-to-the-brim, the stands looked incredible, and exhibition teams were confident, proactive and always ready to greet visitors. Accountex truly is the biggest and best platform for uniting this industry and this year there was a genuine sense of one community coming together to network, support, share, and learn from each other. From visitors to exhibitors, from supporters to speakers, everybody gained real value from being involved.
“Successful firms realise that they need to adapt in order to stay relevant and competitive, and Accountex helps to provide essential solutions and guidance, and inspires accountants to look at their businesses in new ways. We see a lot of growth and development opportunities for the show next year, and we are looking forward to working more closely with all our partners, associations and exhibitors to make sure we continue to create an amazing, totally unmissable show for the accountancy profession,” she says.
Inspiring show content
With 15% of visitors attending across both days, one of the show’s key draws was its exceptional show content. There were 187 CPD accredited seminars, panel sessions, and interactive workshops covering all the key developments and challenges affecting the industry, including everything from the development of new cloud-based solutions, to changes in reporting requirements, auto enrolment, pricing, pensions, attracting new clients, and the HRMC’s digital strategy.
Headline speakers for 2016 included James Akrigg (Microsoft UK); Jennifer Warawa (Sage Worldwide); John Stokdyk (AccountingWEB); Steph McGovern (BBC Breakfast); David Oliver (MyFirmsApp); Mark Wickersham (Effective Pricing); Gordon Gilchrist (2020 Innovation); Ian Fletcher (2020 Innovation); Rob Nixon (PANALITIX); Gary Turner (Xero); Mark Lee (BookMarkLee); Richard Collin (Thomson Reuters); Steve Pipe (AVN); Ed Molyneux (FreeAgentCentral); Rich Preece (Intuit QuickBooks); and David Schneider (That Lot).
“5/5”– visitors give their verdict on Accountex 2016
Brilliant, important, fun and relevant. Those were just some of the words visitors used to describe this year’s show, with around 89% of surveyed visitors rating their overall show experience as excellent/good.
“5/5 – very good show! Accountex has been very useful to find out more about the future of the profession. I’d recommend it to others to attend next year,” says Charlie Batho, head of acquisitions & compliance at Optionis Group (Clearsky).
“It’s been very useful and very informative. Accountex is where everything comes together – I’ve learnt a lot about different areas of accounting. Fantastic exhibition,” says Joseph Colley, insolvency manager at Begbies Traynor Group.
“There was so much to listen to and learn about that I was spoilt for choice. I'd recommend Accountex as a must do for anyone that is serious about growing their practice and embracing cloud accounting,” says Kandeepan Espirial, assistant manager at PKF Little John LLP.
“I’ve enjoyed it. Accountex does what it’s here to do, so you can find out what’s going on in the industry. It’s an important event because things are changing all the time and it helps me stay up-to-date with all the changes,” says Dave Knight, director of Culverhouse & Co.
“Accountex is the one opportunity of the year for different sectors in the industry to come together. Things that you want and need to know about are here. I’ll definitely be back next year,” says Alex Falcon-Huerta, owner of Soaring Falcon Accountancy.
For the second year running I have been blown away with the technological advances our industry is making, and the exciting new products that are available at reasonable cost. Thanks to Accountex my practice is much leaner and profitable,” says Andy Martin, senior manager at Caton Fry & Co.
To read more visitor testimonials, please visit www.accountex.co.uk/visitor-testimonials.
Save the date for 2017
Accountex returns to ExCeL London on 10-11 May 2017. The event enjoys the active support of all the relevant industry associations and training bodies, including The CPD Standards Office; CIOT Chartered Institute of Taxation; ATT – Association of Taxation Technicians; AIA – The Association of International Accountants; IFA – Institute of Financial Accountants; ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ICPA – Institute of Certified Practice Accountants; ICB – The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers; GAAP – GAAPweb; FTA – Federation of Tax Advisers; CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants; BASDA – The Business Application Software Developers Association, as well as relevant media partners, such as AccountingWEB, Economia, Accountancy Age, and Ten Alps Media.
For further information, please visit www.accountex.co.uk.
Media enquiries & photography requests:
Sales & Sponsorship enquiries:
Zoe Lacey-Cooper, Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 944459
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Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, and Nailsworth. Diversified UK’s portfolio includes Accountex; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; British Tourism & Travel Show; Casual Dining; lunch!; Commercial Kitchen; Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair and Natural Products Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; camexpo; Geo Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; and Coach & Bus Live. For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.
Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, digital and print publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries. For more information, visit: www.divcom.com.