Money20/20 finally calls off Europe and US shows
Money20/20, an event which has been bringing payments, fintech and financial services firms together for nearly ten years, has called off its Europe and US shows.
After pressure from the industry and major sponsors – as exclusively reported by FinTech Futures – the event organiser has decided to cancel, citing COVID-19 developments.
“Unfortunately, we have had to take the very difficult decision not to run our events in 2020,” it says in a blog post.
“It has become clear that we can no longer be sure that we can deliver the quality and quantity of attendees and return on investment (ROI) that our community expects from Money20/20.”
It specifically cites the friction with regards to travel, as parts of Europe ready themselves for a second wave of the virus.
The event will be hosting a virtual show from 26-28 October this year. It plans to share the content from the planned programmes of its now cancelled events in Amsterdam and Las Vegas in this week.
It also says sponsors, speakers and attendees will get access to its networking platform in this window to “facilitate new business connections”.
FinTech Futures approached Money20/20 for comment, who says the virtual event will be “free for all”.
“As we have cancelled our event, all our sponsors will receive either a credit or full refund, as per the terms of their respective agreements.”
In 2021, Money20/20 Europe will be held in Amsterdam on 8-10 June. Money20/20 USA will take place on 24-27 October in Las Vegas.
Pressure from sponsors and attendees to cancel
A number of Money20/20 Europe’s sponsors came together to appeal to the organisers to explore various options. One included pulling out of the Amsterdam event all together in the hope it would result in blanket cancellation.
Companies were not willing to reveal their identities. But a source told FinTech Futures that there were at least ten speaking offline.
The group voiced concerns over their employees’ safety and discussed the possibility of pulling out of the event.
Whilst the event does not acknowledge safety as an issue – after all Amsterdam’s mayor did give the event a Dutch stamp of approval – it does cite renewed stress on travelling between borders in Europe as a main consideration for cancelling.
The group was led by one of the event’s largest sponsors. One firm went as far as to initiate phone conversations with the event’s legal team.
Money20/20’s stalwart stance just weeks ago
When FinTech Futures first approached Money20/20 Europe, it said it had a “daily dialogue” with sponsors. It did not confirm or deny the existence of a breakaway group.
It said “there has been no debate” with its host, the RAI Amsterdam, on whether or not to hold the event, despite sponsors’ concerns.
“At no time have we requested a refund and at no time have they refused one,” it said last month.
RAI Amsterdam anticipated a €20 million ($22.68 million) loss this year due to COVID-19. This points to pressure for the venue to keep contracts it had for the latter half of this year.
The projected losses have led to a restructure to save €25 million ($28.3 million). The restructure saw 125 jobs slashed – a quarter of its workforce.
Money20/20 has not revealed the losses which will hit it as a result of the two events not going ahead.
According to Growjo, Money20/20’s estimated annual revenue currently stands at roughly $18.9 million per year. It has around 80-90 employees.