The Forum’s Mortgages Summit event took place at The Vineyard boutique hotel in Newbury on Wednesday, May 19, with more than 20 senior-level delegates attending.
The Financial Services Forum is a membership organisation for senior marketing executives and their teams in the financial services sector. This event marks the first face-to-event from the Forum’s parent business Incisive Media since the Covid-19 pandemic began, as the Forum trailblazes the publisher’s roadmap back to in-person conferences.
With the easing of restrictions around physical events and conferences, the Forum’s members expressed an eagerness to get back together face-to-face with industry colleagues, partners and clients, says Incisive Media.
The sentiment between the senior leaders attending the event was that in-person meetings and discussions remain imperative in facilitating collaboration between businesses, and also to spark new ideas within the industry, as well as building important relationships with partners and clients.
With rapid lateral flow tests now widely available, the Forum asked that delegates took a test on the day of the event before arrival to minimise risk of covid transmission. Delegates also received a temperature check on arrival, and wore masks when travelling around the venue. Social distancing was adhered to in the conference room, with the use of cabaret-style desks and seating.
Forum managing director David Cowan reflected: “It was really exciting to be welcoming members back to a live event. The energy from the delegates created a real buzz and atmosphere, reminding us that there really isn’t a true substitute for meeting face-to-face. It was a great success from the Forum team, led by Sabrina Shilstone.”
Forum partner Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software, commented: “This was a top-class venue and the sessions were really topical and well represented by members and guests. Add on the excellent networking opportunities and it was a five-star event. Thank you.”
His sentiment was echoed by other delegates at the event, with one saying: “While the event content was great, the real win was meeting up with industry colleagues – and shows the benefits of networking lost during lockdown.” Another delegate added: “It was fantastic to meet colleagues again in person and I think the event was pitched just right; interesting, connecting and fun!”
Incisive Media plans to restart its in-person event calendar on September 12 with marquee event Professional Pensions Live, providing it is safe to do so and following the latest government advice. Future in-person events will follow the hybrid model, with a combination of in-person and digital coverage. This builds on the success the publisher says it has enjoyed with digital events over the past year.
The Forum has planned three further two-day summits for 2021.