From XU Magazine, 
Issue 23

Virtual Summit raises £44,500 for the UK NHS

If you had told me 8 weeks ago that we would be involved in organising one of the largest online virtual summits for accounting professionals, with 15,617 registrations and raise of £44,500 for the NHS in the process, I probably would have laughed in your face and said you’re crazy!

When the Coronavirus hit, like the rest of the industry, everyone was in shock and trying to adjust rapidly to what was happening around them. I remember one morning I had an email from Zoe at Accountex asking for an urgent meeting with myself and Jason at ACCA. To our curiosity we took the call that week and they posed a question to us. “Trent, Jason, you’re pretty switched on with this stuff, how do we pivot and take what we do online and deliver a new kind of experience for over 10,000 people?”

I replied simply with a cheeky grin and said “Leave it with me”.

By the end of the week between ACCA, Accountex, Practice Ignition and GENCFO, we set out to build the largest online accounting summit. The content was focused on 3 key elements. How was COVID-19 impacting firms with regards to their “Golden Triangle”.

The golden triangle, or 3-legged stool focuses on your People, Process and Technology. If you over balance on one part of the stool, everything falls over. It’s about balance.

For whatever reason our best ideas always seem to be last-minute throwaway comments in my experience. Jordan and I were busy building this online summit, in record speed. We were pretty confident that everything was going to hold up and we were testing the check-out process and user experience to make sure we were happy with how it all looked and felt.

Jordan turned to me and said “Hey mate, we can make it free to attend but we can also charge money for everyone to get a recording of all the sessions, what do you think?” Jordan’s a pretty smart guy so I said “Yeah, what are you thinking? What would we charge?” He replied “Let’s just make it £10, and we can donate 100% of it to the NHS in support of everything going on.” I quickly said “Good one, let’s do it.” This conversation took less than 30 seconds, yet in reflection it was the most important decision we made for the entire project.

I sit here 24 hours after the virtual summit closing, knowing that 4255 people upgraded their pass for £10, to get a VIP ticket allowing them to access 47 hours worth of content that we put on over the last two days.

Although ridiculously tired, I’m incredibly grateful and proud of our effort and what we’ve been able to achieve in just 8 weeks. From concept to to summit completed and money raised.

It’s an experience I’ll never forget. Thankful to have the opportunity to work with the teams at Accountex, ACCA, GENCFO and my team at Practice Ignition.

Why leave it there?

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