Crown Commercial Service

CIPFA 2018 Conference Blog

The CIPFA 2018 conference was held from 11 to 12 of July and was hosted by the beautiful seaside town of Bournemouth, just a stone’s throw from the sea. The annual event is the UK’s leading conference for professionals working in public finance and accountancy. This year’s event  featured senior finance members from NHS bodies and Local Authorities across the country. This event saw a delegate list of over 800 members and many more attendees from leading public sector suppliers and organisations such as CCS.

The annual CIPFA conferences are themed events and this year focused on Talent, Technology, Transformation: Mapping the digital future. This was to highlight the opportunities and challenges presented by the impact of technology and featured sessions by global economists, thought leaders, tech pioneers and change management experts. The event was well attended and featured exhibits from over 50 suppliers and bodies.

Highlights from the plenary sessions included some sharp Brexit insight from the Sunday Times’ political editor, a fascinating delve in to the Cambridge Analytica story from the journalist who uncovered it and the CEO of Ipsos Mori revealing some eye-opening social research.

The conference was very much an interactive one with demonstration areas utilised by the tech suppliers to highlight the USPs of their products. CIPFA themselves this year included a significant ‘demo zone’ which allowed delegates to try out the latest in anti-fraud software, amongst other offerings. There were also a number of prizes for delegates to win, including a crystal Darth Vader skull full of vodka. I won’t name the supplier as CCS remains neutral in such matters at all times.

CCS had a stand on the main floor of the conference hall which featured representation from the Financial Services and Tech teams. The event also saw the launch of the Financial Services brochure which is a 12 page glossy affair that features the array of offerings available to customers. This was very well received with paper and electronic copies being circulated to those who visited our stand. This was expertly drafted by Jessie Crabtree and gives the Financial Services team an excellent document to entice potential customers with.

The stand did receive a number of queries regarding the new G-Cloud 10 framework and the event itself featured a number of G10 suppliers. Fortunately, we had Stuart Misson to answer questions about all things G-Cloud related as the innovation behind cloud systems was a prominent discussion point at the event.

Conferences such as CIPFA represent an excellent opportunity for CCS to get itself in front of potential customers to inform them of the efficiency and commercial benefits that are available by purchasing goods and services through CCS. There was a misconception amongst some delegates that CCS only offered solutions to CG departments, and it is events such as CIPFA, that allow us to correct misconceptions in person and build new relationships.