Last week Money 20/20 set out to “revolutionize” Las Vegas! This is the one show during the year where global leaders from Retail, banking, FinTech firms and Investors come together to discuss the future of the industry. Were you able to attend? If not here are my top 5 takeaways:
1) Running a track as Chairperson was worth the up front work! I really enjoyed meeting all of the panelists and moderators. The next gen retail and commerce track discussed “GrabnGo” for grocery, the possible demise of credit cards, buying a car from a vending machine and how eCommerce retailers are growing into bricks and mortar locations. The track room was packed most of the day with standing room only in the 800 person ballroom.
2) My favorite panel from the track was the focus on how Tech is Transforming commerce for SMBs. The panelists were Jack Connors from Google, Brandon Chu from Shopify, Nmachi Jidenma from WhatsApp and Mai Leduc from AirBnB. Google noted they are partnering with Shopify to reach new businesses they previously could not support. Air BnB has amassed a market capitalization higher than Marriott Hotels with an “asset lite” model. Their new ideas for service/product offerings come from the owners who share their ideas on a community board. Lastly- WhatsApp is continuing to scale and add functionality. The big question to be answered is when they will open up their APIs for broader industry use?
3) Shaquille O’Neal!? I had no idea Shaq (former NBA Star and commentator) is also an angel investor and is working with Fintech startup Steady as an advisor. He is absolutely huge in person.
4) Rise Up!- This year the Money 20/20 conference sponsored a new program- in partnership with VISA and WNET. 35 amazing women were accepted out of a 500+ applicant pool. They were selected for their leadership potential, industry knowledge and global reach. The programs focused not only on business topics but leadership development topics. I was happy to participate by speaking on a panel about women on boards of directors, and also served as a mentor at the wrap up lunch. The feedback from participants was astounding. They were able to create a sense of community in a few days that will now continue as a support structure moving forward.
5) The networking! After seven years in the payments industry I have met a lot of people. One of my favorite experiences is running into people at the show (global attendance) that I haven’t seen in a few years- and reconnect to hear about what they are up to. In addition, I made over 100 new global contacts – ranging from Georgia (the country), Brazil, Spain, UK and of course the US.
Share your favorite moments below- and maybe I’ll see you next year?