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Sibos 2023 Insights: How design & sustainability shape financial futures

In the bustling landscape of financial industry events, Sibos 2023 has carved out a unique niche. Distinctively mature and centred around genuine business collaboration, this event diverges from the commonplace glitz and spectacle. Instead, it offers an environment where significant financial decisions are crafted, collaborations are fostered, and the future of the industry is shaped. 

Having worked alongside our clients for many years at Sibos, we’ve gained a privileged view into its dynamic ecosystem. From the deliberate event layout to the thoughtfully designed exhibition stands, every element promotes dialogue, networking, and deal-making. These design choices underscore the very essence of the financial industry: calculated, sophisticated, and mature. 

Emerging themes: Technology and Sustainability 

Walking the exhibition floor, two themes became evident: the dominant discourse on technology’s impact on the financial landscape and an unmistakable nod to sustainability in stand designs. Companies like Finastra tailored their spaces to foster in-depth discussions, with private meeting rooms designed for meaningful interactions. In contrast, Form3 offered a central networking hub, while Swift’s elegant space, marked by its simplistic but impactful design, facilitated both networking and private discussions. 

What was particularly noticeable was the evolution in stand designs. Gone are the polished, industrial looks of the past. Instead, stands with earthy tones, adorned with natural elements like foliage, speak to the industry’s growing commitment to sustainability. Sibos’s decision to replace traditional carpeting – often a single-use item – reaffirms this commitment. The inclusion of cardboard meeting booths throughout the venue further reinforces the event’s dedication to environmentally friendly practices. 

But the emphasis on sustainability isn’t just about eco-friendly designs. It’s a profound statement on the direction the financial world is taking. In integrating these elements, companies at Sibos signal their acknowledgement of the broader impact of financial decisions on the planet. 

Accenture’s stand is a testament to the balance between commanding presence and simplicity, highlighting the importance of understanding one’s audience and tailoring content accordingly. Understanding the event, its attendees, and even its location can make all the difference in how a brand is perceived. 

Design is not just about aesthetics; it’s a carefully orchestrated strategy that can subtly influence behaviour, mood, and interactions. At an event like Sibos, where the core objective is to foster collaboration and business decision-making, design becomes even more paramount. 

The choice of earthy tones and natural elements doesn’t just hint at sustainability. It evokes a sense of calm and grounding amidst the buzz of high-level financial discussions, subtly encouraging deeper, more focused conversations. This is especially important in the financial sector where discussions are intricate and demand unwavering attention. 

Moreover, spaces tailored for specific interactions, like Barclay’s private areas or Form3’s central networking hub, recognise that not all conversations are the same. Some discussions demand privacy and seclusion, while others thrive in open, communal areas. 

The move towards simplicity in design and focus on content, as seen with Standard Chartered’s presence, embodies the financial industry’s essence. In a sector where clarity, precision, and straightforwardness are prized, stands that eliminate unnecessary distractions and focus on the essentials resonate more. It’s a reflection of understanding the audience’s needs – they’re there for meaningful discourse and potential collaborations, and the design and content should facilitate that, not detract from it. 

A departure from traditional event activities was the return of the Sibos 5k run. This unique initiative creates memorable experiences and fosters informal interactions, enabling attendees to engage in a different yet meaningful way. Sadly, we did not participate this year, but there’s always next year! 

The insights gleaned from Sibos 2023 underscore our ethos – that of creating spaces for meaningful and memorable connections. As strategic and creative partners, we recognise the intrinsic value in crafting experiences that resonate both intellectually and emotionally. An event like Sibos, with its potent blend of financial leadership, technological impact, and sustainability-driven designs, demonstrates that in the world of business, genuine engagement paired with intentional design can drive impactful conversations. 

The financial sector, like many others, is undergoing rapid transformation. The rise of fintech, increasing regulations, geopolitical shifts, and the ever-growing importance of sustainability are reshaping the landscape. In such turbulent times, events like Sibos become more than just networking opportunities; they’re platforms for the industry’s brightest minds to come together, share insights, and collaboratively chart a way forward. 

Looking forward to Sibos 2024 

Looking ahead, the financial world is eagerly anticipating Sibos 2024, set to take place in Beijing. For organisations looking to make their mark, now is the time to strategise, to create an environment that not only attracts but also facilitates crucial conversations that define the financial world. 

Sibos 2023 reaffirmed the power of face-to-face interactions, even in a digital age. It serves as a potent reminder of the continued relevance of genuine, purposeful connections in the ever-evolving financial landscape. 

To see us at Sibos 2024, follow our social media channels. Or better yet, to work with us on your Sibos 2024 strategy, contact us today!

Meet the author

This blog post was written by Josh Crowe, Account Executive at Shelton Fleming. With a background in production and journalism, Josh has worked with several written publications and production companies including Mixmag and Clash Magazine, as well as managing an editorial team. Since joining Shelton Fleming he has worked on key accounts including Netcracker, Barclays and Form3.

Get in contact with us to find out how we can incorporate sustainability, strategy, creativity and innovation to create an immersive and memorable experience that leaves an impact of good on the environment, for you, your brand but most importantly your partners and customers!