Reflections on a conference – Beijing
As the HLB conference in Beijing draws to a close it is time to reflect on the events of the last few days. Apart from Beijing itself – more of which later – the conference itself has been a great success.
What has been apparent is the level of genuine interest in Cloud technology in general and online accounting in particular. The E-conomic stand has been busy over the three days and some very useful contacts made. Tejn Nielsen is going to have a busy time when he gets back following up on the enquiries that he has received.
What has been particularly gratifying as fars as I am concerned, is the level of interest from the UK – a marked change from conferences earlier in the year.
As I have commented previously, I predicted that 2011 would be the year of the cloud and Beijing has confirmed my view.
Reflections on Beijing – part 1
The first thing that struck me on arriving in Beijing was the sheer modernity of everything. Not what one thinks of when it comes to China. The airport is hi-tec and enormous as is the infrastructure that surrounds it.
This is enhanced on the drive into Beijing itself. The number of new skyscrapers is breathtaking as is their design. It really looks like something out of a science fiction film.
Our hotel is situated in the centre of the city on top of a luxury shopping centre selling everything from Bulgari to Rolex and everything in between. Fascinating how China has introduced the luxury of Western Globalisation without the inconvenience of introducing the democracy that would usually go with it.
Now I realise I am not seeing China is a whole but only a relatively small and incredibly wealthy part of it – but it is an eye opener just the same.
This afternoon includes a visit to the forbidden city which will be a whole new experience.
Reflections on a Conference
I have just returned from exhibiting with E-conomic at the 2020 annual conference in Birmingham where we spent the day on the E-conomic stand. I can’t believe that its a year since I commented on the last conference – time certainly flies when you are enjoying yourself!
Comparing the two conferences there were some marked differences as far as the Cloud in general and Cloud Accounting in particular are concerned. Firstly it must be said that all credit goes to 2020 for promoting the Cloud the way that they do and directing the delegates to the exhibition stands. The 2020 organisers certainly understand the benefits of the Cloud and how it can add value for their accountancy practices.
What struck me this year was how better informed were the accountancy practices – they didn’t necessarily sign up on the spot but all the visitors to the stand were, in the main, well informed about Cloud Accounting and were seeking information as to the distinguishing features of the various applications. And of course one of the noticeable aspects this year was how much choice there is for anyone seeking to move into the Cloud. As well as E-conomic there were 4 other cloud applications exhibiting at the conference and that doesn’t include the many other providers who weren’t there.
A number of enquiries were received from practices where they were already using a Cloud accounting product but wanted to expand their offerings - this all good news for the Cloud industry and accountants. The message is beginning to get through. As well as this, the new Accountants Club concept was well received.
In addition to speaking to the delegates, it was very interesting speaking to the other exhibitors. As well as comparing notes it was very helpful speaking to some other of the product providers who might be able to add some very useful features using E-conomic’s API integration – watch this space!
I forecast that 2011 would be the year of the Cloud and as we approach the last quarter of the year I am convinced that I was correct.
I am now off to Beijing to speak on the benefit of the Cloud at the HLB conference – I shall report on this when I get back.