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Arrive on the Sunday straight to the Hotel and then on to the Arena, photo taken, badge issued, now where is the stand. Into the Hall and the same question comes to mind “how the hell are they going to have all this ready by tomorrow morning? But they always do. Five o’ clock arrives and you see the carpet going down and the reason why your feet are going to ache come the following day “no underlay straight onto the concrete”.

Who else is around you and is there any of the competitors to hand? Finish the stand early and quick scoot around to see how the other stands look and what freebies are being handed out. Throughout the day more people arrive, faces recognised, people you did not want to see, people you did. Stand back and let the chaps get on with the stand, introduce yourself to the other people on the stands around you and hope you have a bank near you(Swiss preferably as they always tend to have the best coffee) as they always seem to have drinks and canapés towards the end of the day.

Monday comes fast enough and should we have gone to bed earlier as its always going to be early mornings and very late nights for the next four and a half days. Arrive and you see the queues of the people, onto the stand is it clean enough, do all the screens work? Get the brochures out the demo’s running. Quick run down (again) of what it is you want prospective clients going away with? Another cup of coffee, shoes clean, tie straight, quick touch of the hair and make up announcement is made “Ladies and Gentlemen Sibos is now open.

Love it or hate it you have to admire it. Whether you are manning a stand or busy being lectured to, it certainly is something special from first thing in the morning until you hear the dulcet voice announcing Sibos will be closing in 5 minutes time. The smile you have had to wear all day disappears, it’s the chance to sit down and bemoan the aching feet and now the quick beer or glass of wine to discuss which party you will be attending and was somebody lucky enough to get the relevant tickets/invitations. Its Monday have you registered for the Finextra party or has any one contacted Clare to see if our names are on the list, if not has anyone got Clare’s mobile. Other venues are discussed does anyone know people from Misys, Reuters, Sungard, IBM, Microsoft are they holding parties and can we get in?

The talk quickly descends into how many people visited the stand and “what about that person from ???? Bank,what planet did he come from”. Or the number of people who turned up stating you should allow us to become your reseller and even “why don’t you offshore it all to us!”

This year is my first as a delegate and owner of my own company. I will be attending with one of our clients, no more forced smiles, no more early mornings, lots more late nights though. Looking forward to seeing a lot of friends not only from the UK but from all over the World, people I have done business with in the past, people I have worked with and people I will get to know. At the end of the day Sibos means a lot of different things to people, but all I can say to people is “Enjoy, there is enough pain in our industry at the moment, but during this week have a ball, sell and buy products, sign agreements, make deals and make sure you get to the party on Thursday. Safe travelling people and if you see me at Sibos come over and say “Hello”


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