This is my fourth year going to Accountex. It’s a trade show, not a conference, most people who go are running their own businesses and are looking for ways to run those businesses better. This is in marked contrast to most pension conferences where there is little of this entrepreneurial stuff going on.
In my four visits, I’ve learned how to conduct myself in a world where interest is genuine and there is a common purpose. This is not a place where you get drunk at lunchtime, this is in deadly earnest, most people in the hall are fighting for a living – few behave as if the world owed them one.
The Pension PlayPen shares a stand at Accountex 16 with MyPaye and MyDecks. If you are a pension person you may not have heard of our partners, but between us we look after the payroll, HR and pension needs of about 10,000 UK employers and while we have no common ownership, we work collaboratively, promoting each other to existing and new customers.
Instead of a piss up (the standard way of winding down after a pension event) we decamped to Abbey Wood Camping grounds and had a bar-b-q last night outside our host’s motorhome.
Which summed up to me the differences in budgets between pensions and payroll!
This common purpose, sense of frugality and sense of daring was summed up by one of our party who told us that she had had a choice this year of paying herself a wage or taking on new clients. She decided she would rather live on fumes and grow her business, I hope it pays off for her- how many in the comfortable world of pensions would take that chance?
At 54 and a half, I have found my career re-excited with the engagement with such people and feel proud that I have been accepted (to some extent) into this community.
I wouldn’t like to paint a picture of a failing world, far from it, the sight of the stands of Xero, Sage, Iris , Exact and many others suggests that if he or she can break through, the entrepreneur stands to make a great fortune. And I’m proud that My micro-business commands some respect with some of these Titans.
For endeavour in this environment is both recognised and rewarded. And it was particularly good yesterday to find our stand close to Aviva. Good on you Aviva for investing in Accountex and hats off to the group of young people I found at the end of the day typing in the names and emails of everyone who’d visited their stand! May such endeavour be rewarded!
You’ve inspired me to do the same with my leads which are now safely in my laptop with Linked in invites out!
So a good news blog! If the capacity crunch is going to be avoided, it is going to be by the people I shared the vast Excel Hall with yesterday. Day 2 is dawning and soon I will be biking down to Tower Gateway to take my DLR train out.
I hope we’ll see one or two of you there!
Andy and Henry!