Is the Singapore FinTech Festival worth the hype to a Gen Z-er? Vernen Chan, Marketing Intern with Elevandi and a final year student at the University of Stirling (SIM), shares his ‘fanboy’ experience at the 2023 Singapore FinTech Festival.
When I first joined the team, Elevandi focused on the Point Zero Forum and the Inclusive FinTech Forum. Yet, there was always a buzz around the Singapore FinTech Festival. I frequently heard rave reviews about SFF within the office and saw the enthusiasm echoed on social media. As a newcomer to the FinTech scene, I found myself pondering: How remarkable could this festival truly be?
In a nutshell: Yes, it is undeniably amazing, and SFF2023 has etched itself as a core memory.
Most Exhilarating 19,565 steps of my life
It was my first at such a colossal event. It was surreal to see months of meticulous preparation become a reality. SFF sprawled across 6 halls in the Expo Singapore, encompassing an area equivalent to 123,000 square metres – a space large enough to contain 17 soccer fields. Even with such a massive scale, SFF was buzzing with people wherever I looked.
For three adrenaline-fueled days, I found myself dashing from Hall 1 to Hall 6, endeavouring to absorb as much as possible from the sessions and captivating speakers that piqued my interest. My step count across this 3-day adventure averaged 19,565 steps per day.
Among the sea of 66,000 attendees bustling through the six halls, I saw old friends reuniting again and new connections being made. Everyone seemed so genuinely happy to be there, and that energy was infectious! It made me glad to be part of the team making the Festival possible.
My Role Amidst the Bustle
The marketing team was on a mission to interview some of the key speakers of SFF2023. This granted me an opportunity to go behind the scenes, allowing me to rub shoulders with global industry leaders. The thought of it at the moment was both exciting and nerve-wracking.
Throughout my time there, I shadowed my team. Witnessing the intricate process of interviews being conducted and observing the thought process behind framing each shot was a masterclass in itself. It provided invaluable insights into the mechanics of content creation within such high-stakes settings.
One of the highlights of my role was engaging in conversations with CEOs and C-suite executives. To my surprise, each encounter revealed a down-to-earth side, as they generously shared not only their professional insights but also funny and interesting anecdotes.
3 Days just felt like it wasn’t enough
The Singapore FinTech Festival 2023 ran from 15 to 17 November. For those 3 days, time became my nemesis. SFF2023 boasted a rich array of sessions and workshops, each catching my attention, often taking place at the same time. I couldn’t be at two places at once! On Day 2, I found myself torn between two compelling sessions: 'Career Opportunities for Today’s Youth' and 'Digital Currency Showdown: Stablecoins vs Tokenised Deposits.' The clash left me feeling like my hands were tied, prompting a coin flip to determine my path.
In this whirlwind of choices, I thought, “If only it was possible to hit ‘pause’ on time! Then I’d be able to savour every moment at SFF.” This would have allowed me to navigate through all the enriching sessions, explore every booth, and engage in conversations with as many attendees as possible.
It is not every day I get to attend such an event. I find myself deeply grateful to be in this position where I was able to immerse myself in such an eye-opening festival. Regardless of their professional background, I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to attend and experience SFF firsthand. Even if my journey with Elevandi comes to a close, my enthusiasm for SFF remains unwavering. That is how much I enjoyed myself. I am so looking forward to SFF 2024 and I hope to see you there too.
More about the writer:
Vernen Chan, a final year student at University of Stirling (SIM) and marketing intern at Elevandi, specialises in social media and content marketing. He has contributed to events such as the Inclusive FinTech Festival, Point Zero Forum and Singapore FinTech Festival. Driven by a passion for marketing, Vernen aims to captivate and inspire readers through creative storytelling.