There's rule in drafting: if something is different, call it something different.
That's why we organise fora, not conferences.
The rule can be expressed in an alternative way: if something is called something different, it is because it is different.
That's why we protect our name: we don't want ordinary conference organisers pretending to do what we do.
Because what we do is different.
We aren't conference organisers. Our Fora aren't created by marketing people. Nigel Morris-Cotterill creates them out of his understanding of what is important in the world of financial crime risk and compliance today.
It is that word - important - that makes the difference. It's not about being trendy, it's not about surfing a wave of fashion, it's about getting the right subjects in front of the right people at the right time and explained by the right experts.
That is why Fora include speakers you may have heard of but you've probably never heard speak. We don't use speakers that you can hear multiple times in a year. And often you won't have previously heard of the speakers.
Speakers have time to develop their themes and are not restricted to a short paper. We don't cram the programme with so many presentations that they can do little beyond an overview. Our focus is always on risk and prevention first and compliance second.
We don't allow commercial presentations as papers: we do allow short presentations between speakers. But we don't neglect sponsors: in fact, they get enhanced facilities to provide more face time with interested parties in informal, interactive, workshops.
We are deliberately low tech and we organise the event to encourage on- and off-platform discussion and debate between delegates and speakers. We encourage our speakers to remain throughout the Forum so as to provide cross-fertilisation between presentations.
Here are just some of the points of difference between ordinary conferences and The Financial Crime Forum:
1. We don't book speakers because they are well known. We book speakers because they are excellent at what they do and can communicate it. In fact, often, you won't hear our speakers on any other platform.
2. We don't allow commercial presentations from the platform during sessions. Nor do we allow those on the floor to make commercial presentations in the guise of questions. We will make specific time slots available for commercial presentations: for example, companies may sponsor social events or arrange workshops and in that case may make an introduction to their products or services and may approach delegates during that event.
3. Our speakers get time to develop their themes. In most conferences speakers get at most 20 minutes and that's supposed to include time for a Q&A. Our speakers get an hour and a quarter and a recommendation that the last 15 minutes is used for discussion.
4. We don't have panels of, say, four or five people trying to cover several topics in half-an-hour under the control of a moderator. If the audience wants an open discussion, just start it in one of the Q&A sessions. The speaker will moderate until it's time for him to introduce the next speaker.
5. There is no segregation of speakers, no "speaker's table" or VIP area. Speakers sit at tables with the audience which encourages debate.
6. There is a maximum of eight speakers at a Forum lasting two days. We might even reduce that number if we do something different in one of the sessions.
7. Our events are specifically designed to be family friendly. Locations and timetables are carefully chosen so that delegates can be accompanied - and that companions are not left alone for long periods. But because our venues are carefully chosen, there's plenty for guests to do in the mornings or while a delegate attends a workshop.
So, you can see: what we do is far from the norm.
We look forward to welcoming you to The Financial Crime Forum.
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