“Anchoring serious conversations in serious fun and enveloping our audience in a backdrop that facilitates ideas and plays on what’s in the cultural zeitgeist makes for moments that you have to see—or experience—to believe. And that’s what’s energizing for us to build and for our audience to experience at Money20/20.”
–Kathryn Frankson, Global Director-Marketing, Money20/20
Sound-off virtual calls? No more, said the creators of the latest U.S. edition of Money20/20, a fintech conference and trade show that took place in Las Vegas, Oct. 27-30, and turned a business event for the notoriously buttoned-down industry into a celebration of insight and connection.
“There is so much saturation in every single marketing channel and certainly at events, so you really have to decide to create something exceptional, that’s worthy of your audience’s time, to support growth,” says Kathryn Frankson, global director of marketing at Money20/20. “And because we embed that into the show floor layout and design, our stage sets, our speaker selection, our partner activations, our evening events and, of course, our marketing, it’s been delightful to see the positive reaction by brand marketers.”
A pricey ticket gave attendees access to insightful conversations and in-person engagement with the industry’s top minds, so the experiences and activations were designed to facilitate ideas exchange and networking in “serious fun” ways. Here’s what got love on the show floor:
- How Vox Media Revamped its Ultramodern Code Conference in SoCal
- Five Ways the Black Magic Reimagined Summit Met the Needs of the Modern Black Businesswoman
If there ever was a line of suit-clad attendees waiting to talk to a 14-foot metal robot, it was at the entrance to Money20/20. Deemed “actual intelligence,” Money-Bot welcomed attendees, answered their questions (with a twist!), offered to take selfies with attendees, and doubled as a gaming station, a dj booth and networking area.
“With the proliferation of AI, developing our own Money-Bot, felt timely and interesting and it feeds into our new 2024 show theme: Human x Machine!,” Frankson says. “Anchoring serious conversations in serious fun and enveloping our audience in a backdrop that facilitates ideas and plays on what’s in the cultural zeitgeist makes for moments that you have to see—or experience—to believe. And that’s what’s energizing for us to build and for our audience to experience at Money20/20.”
Money Motor Circuit
Ahead of the F1 race in Las Vegas, this sponsored area tapped into the thrill of the race with a giant slot car track, virtual reality driving simulators, the Garage Stage that also doubled as a roof-top dj booth, a photo-op backdrop and a double-decker Pit Stop Bar. What felt like a fun-filled space actually offered multiple organic opportunities to network and build relationships, and judging by how busy it was, fast rides were quickly turning into high-octane business. Winners of the races earned a gold coin they could take to the Merch Machine.
Pipe and drape no more. The show featured several stages designed for different types of programming and storytelling, from market-shaping announcements at The Briefing Room to futuristic insight amid shipping containers at The Exchange to celebrity-studded talks at Under the Stars. The show’s official podcast was recorded at the MoneyPot booth, and attendees were invited to grab a pair of headphones and tune into the conversation happening live. At the Black Box stage, discussions were moderated by AI in a black box.
If you picked up a gold coin talking to Money-Bot, asking smart questions or racing at the Money Motor Circuit, you could trek to the far corner of the floor to the coveted Merch Machine and pick from limited edition swag, including sweatshirts and hats. But honestly, a hefty gold coin itself felt like a prize.
What’s next? The show’s interactions in Bangkok and Amsterdam next year will bring never-seen-before activations unique to each region, according to insiders.