Money 20/20

Money20/20 Europe 2023 – What makes a successful submission?

Why speak at Money20/20 Europe? Money20/20 Europe is the biggest fintech event on the continent, arguably the world. Speaker slots are highly prized. It is an opportunity to address the industry. It provides a major boost for a company’s brand. It dramatically improves your spokesperson’s profile.

It’s the top table of fintech. But that means speaker slots are extremely difficult to secure.

In 2022, less than 10% of speaker pitches were successful.

In 2022, Money20/20 raised the bar – insisting on more diverse speakers, more creative formats, and more cutting-edge topics.

2023 is set to be a little different but the bar will still be high.

The call for sessions and speakers has just launched and call for content is available to view here ahead of session deadlines (9th December 2022) and speaker deadlines (27th January 2023).

There is also a super useful webinar with lots of tips and tricks to give yourself the best chance of taking to the stage next year.

We spoke to Gina Clarke, Content Director at Money20/20 Europe to understand how the event is changing this year and what makes a successful submission.

What’s changing this year?

Overall, the content team is starting the process earlier, removing extensions and introducing a traffic light system to allow more time for discussion and collaboration as well as create a simpler and more transparent process.

There is a big emphasis on creativity – think differently in terms of subject, format and speakers.

Two stage process

One of the key differences this year is that the call for speakers is split by 1) session submissions and 2) speaker submissions.

This is a welcomed move as it allows firms to split the ideas from the speakers essentially. And by focusing on sessions first the organisers are encouraging proposals to be creative and different – the team is keen to step away from traditional panel, fireside and presentation formats where possible to make the content more engaging.

The process also starts much earlier than before with session submissions having already opened on the 21st November.

No extensions but traffic lights

Unlike previous years where extensions were common, there will be no extensions this year. But there will be a traffic light system.

After submitting a proposal, firms will be given a traffic light – green is yes, red is no, and orange is let’s talk and see how we can tweak. The idea is to allow more time for a conversation to take place so ideas can be refined.

This is good news for firms who aren’t faced with a simple Y/N and the organisers which have more time to work with firms to create truly engaging content.

Time is of the essence, if you’re not working on submissions now, you’re going to be cutting it close to make the grade.

The themes

Unsurprising the overarching theme this year is “Fintech gets real” which is perfectly apt given the market correction and shift to fundamentals that we can see across the market. And the key themes follow a similar pattern:

  • Smooth interactions – This theme is all about the standards, technology and applications that help to make our every interaction streamlined
  • Strategic decisions – This is the outlet for founders, CEOs, and other company execs to share their war wounds and life lessons
  • Unexpected finance – As new markets and providers continue to put pressure onto established players, this theme focuses on the places where unexpected finance can deliver
  • The socio-economic impact – This theme explores some of the socio-economic impacts that recent years have stirred up, alongside its potential opportunities, especially those in B2C
  • Thinking differently – What’s a theme that’s not a theme? Here the focus turns to format, regardless of whether the subject matter fits into one of the above themes

There are also the three c’s of 2023 – consolidation, customisation, and competition – again key topics to bear in mind when working submissions.

Finally, the show will lean heavily into two trends, now and next. With a view to splitting content that tackles immediate issues versus those that look further into the future.

The stages

The main change here is that – aligning to the theme of unexpected finance – retail, insurtech and wealthtech will have dedicated sessions. The aim here is to deep dive into specific vertical sectors as well as cover the big horizontal issues that challenge the industry as a whole.

What’s critical to securing a slot?

The why

A reminder of one of the most important aspect of any submission. It’s all about the why.

Any submission must do two things to be successful:

  • Audience – Why will the audience get value from the session? What new things will they learn? What takeaways can then expect?
  • Company – Why do you want to speak at Money20/20? What is your objective? What impact on the industry are you striving for?

Money20/20 want contrary views, so they can put on dynamic panels, that really tackle big industry issues.

Unless you can answer the why question, across these two levels and for every session, you shouldn’t submit.

The who

The right speaker is a mix of relevance, seniority, and novelty.

The most important thing is that the speaker is qualified to discuss the subject at hand. Credibility is way more important than seniority, although the organisers are looking for industry leaders where possible.

Again, novelty is good. The team want speakers from outside of the industry, ones who have a different story to tell, a different take to the norm, an X factor dare we say.

Think fintech meets SXSW.

Unfortunately, the content team has been burned with late changes to high profile speakers and companies. If you are proposing additional speakers, they need to be confirmed and contact details included in the submission.

And no sales, business development, comms or marketing executives allowed.


The event’s diversity ratios have improved year on year with more female subject matter experts on stage in 2022 than ever before, for example. Panels must be 50:50 male/female for example.

More widely, Money20/20 will be looking for diversity of ethnicity, age, disability etc. where possible.

Homogenous panels will not be accepted.

Think outside the box

The Money20/20 Europe team have developed the themes, but one – thinking differently – is a non-theme designed to push firms to develop weird and wonderful ideas.

And because submissions happen earlier and there is a traffic light system, there is a lot more chance these ideas will make the grade because there is time for discussion and refinement.

There is a lot of room for brand new ideas outside the themes.

Make announcements

Some of the industry’s largest developments that shaped the future of money have been launched at Money20/20 in the past.

They’re keen to have companies make announcements at the show in 2022. However, they have to be brand new and show stopping.

Save your biggest news for the show and share it with the whole industry.

Shortlist to making a submission successful

  1. Why – You must answer the why question – why does your submission matter to the industry?
  2. Who – Focus on the most qualified speaker, not necessarily the most senior
  3. Different – Money20/20 want to put on content that is creative, engaging and different – if you’ve seen similar at another conference it isn’t good enough
  4. Collaborate – The best submissions are often in partnership with customers, partners, investors and advocates, that look outside of your business
  5. Diversity – Diversity isn’t a nice to have, it is an essential to have a chance of speaking
  6. Announce – If you have major news, announce it at the show and make it part of your submission
  7. Speed – Speaker slots are highly competitive, the faster the better for success – and the more time to work with the team

The chance to arrive on the biggest stage in fintech has just launched.

Good luck!

Written by Daniel Lowther


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