The Sibos Diaries – Chapter 4

By Phil Cantor,

Chief Marketing Officer,

iGTB | Polaris Financial Technology Limited

Chapter 4 Sibos

Alea jacta est. We cast our bread upon the waters. We plough the fields and scatter. Que sera, sera.

We’ve done what we can. Tomorrow’s the last day. (Tomorrow’s another day, also, but that’s a different story altogether). How do I do it justice? Let me count the ways.
Let me start in true Oscar fashion.

I’d like to thank the following, in no particular order and leaving out key people who will be less offended by that than they should be. Renu. Renu again. Naveen. Naveen again. Ashish, Nacy, Nachu. And Vineeth, Sri, Hema, Ganesh (B). Adelina, Razia, Mani, Sans. Oh I guess also, definitely, Manish, Upps, Paddy. Hari and Ashutosh. Guneet, Ganesh, Gahenry. Anand (but he won’t see this unless I tweet it). ALL the attendees. Product writers – too many to name individually, plus Partho. Guys without you we are but blossom in the wind, drifting we know not where, fertile ground or fallow, loam or rock, and now we’re back full circle. Alea jacta da da etc. Que sera, Sarah. And so on.

So let’s get to the fun stuff. As we’re in Oscar mood, award night.

  • Hero of the day award: Mark. 7,000 people exit Sibos on a cold rainy evening and 6,500 of them want a cab. The line was huge and slow moving, we estimated a 45m wait. And Katherine was not well and getting worse and just wanting to get home, please quickly (yes by this time we think of the hotel as our home). So, cunningly, hero Mark led us to the nearby Westin Hotel to get a cab there. Only not so cunningly: everyone else had had the same idea too. The line was even longer. So we decide to walk into town. But THIS TIME, Mark spots an off duty cab at the side of Sibos, lopes over, and like the true sales negotator he is, persuaded him to take us all back.
  • Brass Neck award. The lady from a major global household name corporation. She strolled onto our stand, sat down and started working on her laptop. When asked who she was meeting she replied “no, I’m good.” When asked to leave she said “yes in a few minutes.” When asked to leave because we had clients who needed to sit down right now she still tried to refuse until we firmly insisted. Shows we have comfy chairs though.
  • Yes! Yes! award. Some guy. The chap who came on the booth and asked if he could take a photo of our bug digital 360 design (see it in Michael Mainelli’s article attached to an earlier letter). And not even a competitor!
  • Shock news business has sentiment award: SWIFT. For throwing a huge party with giant cake for a lady who (a) was having her birthday today, (b) had worked for SWIFT for 25 Sibii, (c) who had just yesterday left SWIFT so it was her last day, (d) was celebrating the 150th anniversary of SWIFT (I may have heard that wrong).
  • Longest meeting award. 2 hours. With the guys from Central Europe (you know whom I mean).
  • Good luck go for it girl award: Renu. For explaining a technology solution to Guneet.
  • Pied Piper award. Renu and Anand, jointly. For gathering followers hugely by posting bits of the Mashreq article on this funny social media thingy.
  • Bad prep award. Me. Headline: “Crusader against lastminutitis suffers huge lapse.” For at 0800 having no clue what to present and finishing a ppt by 1050 (session at 1130) ie with (fractional) time to spare. I threw together extracts from Karim’s interview, extracts from our new iGTB video and a handful of cartoons and a couple (no literally, 2) ppt slides. Well I did it, presented it and we had a full house. Right from the outset. Now I know these events, they’re PR, nit lead generation. It’s usually suppliers and it’s free – and it’s open plan – so you usually get a very small audience of people either (a) wanting to JUST SIT DOWN for one moment, please, it’s not much to ask, one moment in four days, oh look at that comfy chair… or (b) checking their phones or (c) had read the agenda wrong or (d) competitors. So anyway I got their attention after the kind SWIFT Belgian lady introduced me (seemed like she’d known me for years, not seconds). I did it by starting “Welcome everybody, and especially those who are not using the mobile phones or laptops…!” which got a big laugh. As it happens I had a pretty much full house, with people standing round the back, and very few not paying attention. I did a few more gags and then played out opening video section. We got a round of applause! (well, started by me, it must be said).That’s a great tip, by the way, in any public show, plant someone in the audience and create a dramatic moment. At this moment your stooge starts to clap. The very funny thing is, people have a natural instinct to clap along. So almost certainly you’ll get everyone clapping too. I’ve even seen it started by someone dropping a book! Anyway, to illustrate digital outside, I played a clip of Karim stating the problem and how customer centric his boss is: “he says, ‘put a smile on every customer’s face’.” Then talking them through the ‘day in the life’ material. We basically did a typical morning. Of course all the while I am interacting, picking on people, asking them specific questions: “yes! yes, you at the back in the green jumper, do YOU think this is a typical customer value chain?” Anyway did that for a bit, then talked a bit about “digital inside”  Good PR though.

It’s 2305 and the last meeting was not that long ago. More – and stickier – meetings tomorrow.

Anyway, enough from me right now.

Sleep tight.


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