The Sibos banners are out on the street in Osaka to warn the locals that thousands of bankers and vendors are about to descend on them for the week. The first ones have been here for a while – the ones who have to do the hard work of building the stands.
The vendors who will be doing booth duty have already begun arriving too. Osaka isn’t served by direct flights from some major financial centres, such as London, so it’s a long haul on the plane and also a further haul by train if you first land in Tokyo.
I counted 22 hours from door to door, which includes a lot of waiting time.
The pre-registered list of attendees at Sibos this year shows about 2,200 people who have agreed to share their contact details with the exhibitors, and there are likely to be as many again who will be here and don’t want the exhibitors to have their details.
That may be a reflection of why many bankers come to Sibos – to meet the relationship bankers that they already have a relationship with – but it doesn’t necessarily help the other banks that are here to try to develop new relationships. Or help the vendors.
A quick sort through the list of those 2,200 shows that around 1,000 of them are coming from Europe (of which just over 200 are from the UK), around 260 are from the USA and just over 200 are from Japan. Around 30 from China, despite the political situation.
15 from Korea. In fact, a total of around 700 people that most vendors would consider to be part of the “Asia/Pacific” region.
We vendors are hoping that they all spend a lot of time in the exhibition area this year - and so will the banks that are exhibiting.