Ah, Las Vegas. Millions of people flock to this city in the middle of the Mojave Desert every year, leaving billions of dollars in their wake. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, indeed. In a place where so much money changes hands using methods that haven’t really changed for decades, there’s a bit of irony to the fact that it’s also the location of the annual Money 20/20 event. Money 20/20 was created as a “catalyst for the growth and development of the payments and financial services ecosystem.”
Lucky for you, we’ve got our trusty Corporate Jargon-to-English dictionary handy, and can tell you what that means: it’s not just a celebration of how technology has reshaped the way businesses, banking, and payments are handled, but a place for people to learn where these things are headed in the future. We’re talking here about disruptive technologies, like mobile payments and cloud services, designed around letting smaller businesses keep more of their money than ever before. The event kicks off Sunday, November 2 and runs through to the 5th. More than 7,500 attendees are expected, making it the largest group of people to ever arrive in Las Vegas with money-making strategies that don’t involve the phrases “Hit me”or “All-In.”
The event is going to be, in a word, staggering. In two words: really staggering. Consider the fact that the Money 20/20 brochure—which details the agenda, schedule, and breakout session descriptions—is 86 pages long. The list of guest speakers tops out at over 500, and more than 2,500 companies from around the world will be attending. The conference is organized into different tracks, with a little something for everyone. You can check out the brochure for full information on each one, as well as laugh at some financial person’s attempt to create marketing content by branding each track with an insect. Here are the highlights, though, to get an idea of what’s in store for attendees.
Legal & Regulatory: Business Issues – Explores how business owners can stay ahead of any number of vulnerabilities, like legal or security threats. Symbolized in the brochure by the Giant Owl Butterfly, which is known throughout the animal kingdom for its short-sighted coding techniques and litigious nature.
Legal & Regulatory: Risk & Compliance – Sessions in this track will help businesses navigate the complicated world of regulatory compliance. Symbolized by the Bark Spider of Madagascar, the original author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Disruptive Financial Inclusion – These sessions will focus on the various enabling technologies that have empowered businesses and consumers alike to move and spend money in less expensive and more efficient ways. Symbolized by the Rhinoceros Beetle, due to its natural tendency to subvert dominant paradigms.
(Bit)coinWorld – Explores the past, present, and future of Bitcoin, and its potential for the future of payments. Symbolized by the Silkworm, a species which owns the majority of the world’s Bitcoin mining hardware.
Retailers: What’s In Store – Sessions will feature successful retailers who’ve been able to sustain or transform their businesses using the newest technologies for payments, marketing, and accounting. Symbolized by the Morphos Butterfly, which communicates entirely in terrible puns like “Retailers: What’s in Store.”
Identity, Security & Fraud – Leaders of these sessions will help participants identify potential security threats in new technologies, and ways to mitigate them. Symbolized by the Ladybug, creators of the Heartbleed virus and all versions of Microsoft Windows.
Newly Released Market Research – Informational sessions that provide “new learning you can take back to your organizations, to communicate in whatever form you prefer.” Symbolized by the Honeybee, which won’t judge you for your choices in life.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation – Sessions geared for grounding innovative entrepreneurs in time-tested business practices. Symbolized by the Water Slider, which invented microwaveable Pizza in a Cup.
Demos, Case Studies & Announcement – Many sessions featuring (you guessed it) demos and case studies of successful businesses and the technologies that helped facilitate their growth. Symbolized by the Glow Worm, because their butts light up, and that’s cool.
Payments Disruptions – This track will feature presentations of the newest forms of digital and mobile payments, and explain how they can change the way you do business. Symbolized by the Monarch Butterfly, which like to mate inside cash registers.
Commerce Disruptions – These sessions will look at how modern consumers are always connected to the commerce ecosystem and the ways in which businesses can capitalize on this new trend. Symbolized by the Cicada, which emerges from dormancy every 17 years and whose short lifecycle demands a fast and effective shopping spree.
We’ll be sending our very own Jason Seed, Kounta’s VP of Growth who’ll be making his way around the conference, soaking up the information and evangelizing the future of POS as Kounta sees it. On the exhibition floor, Jason will be hanging with the folks from PowaPOS (booth #501), demoing our software running on their T25 all-in-one stand. We’re proud to be partnering with them for this event: anyone can pay the exhibitor’s fee and set up shop, but we think it says something great that they asked us to make their product look good with our software—not they needed our help. The T25 is more than a tablet stand, integrating a barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer into one sleek unit. But to see it running with Kounta, the only hospitality focused app selected to integrate with the T25, will give you an idea of the power behind these two products working together. Stop by and say hi, and check out the future of POS.