While sitting in the Chicago airport (stranded) after the Profit and Loss Chicago Forex Network event in September, I realized something. Never have I ever been to a conference like that before.
I’m from the equities world and have been to my fair share of conferences. I’ve worked for the buy side, sell side, and as a tech vendor in the equities space – and while I found the companies I worked for to be exciting and lively, the conferences were far from it. For those of you FX vets, let me tell you what a typical equities conference is like. The conference structure is the same as FX (panels, food, coffee) and information and business cards are exchanged. There are some pleasantries and hand shaking. Usually a cocktail or two (why, thank you!). But it’s lacking in energy and excitement. It’s unclear if equities folks actually want to be at the conference while it is clear that in FX, everyone is enthusiastic about attending and, get this: actually happy to be there.
This enthusiasm sets FX conferences apart – everyone was truly there to enjoy themselves on both a business and professional level. It felt celebratory, like everyone was on an FX-inspired holiday in the middle of downtown Chicago. We visited the Westin Chicago River North, enjoyed cocktails and conversation under “The Bean” at Park Grill, Millennium Park, and rounded off the epic day at, where else, Epic. Meaningful relationships were cultivated and created. Business was discussed. Ideas and trends were debated.
It was work made FUN.
I chatted with industry peers and vets until my voice was gone, I laughed and smiled until my face hurt. The conference felt meaningful and genuine. No one was there just to listen to the panels and drink gallons of coffee. We were there to build relationships, expand our FX knowledge, and catch up with old friends and colleagues. We were there to hear about people’s families and lives and reminisce about past conferences and events. It was about the people.
I’ve been told FX is a relationship business. Now I understand. The men and woman of FX have created this amazing community of people who care, not only about their work and the industry, but each other.
The conference made me realize how excited I am to be a part of this community.
So hats off to the FX crowd. Keep being amazing and I’ll see you at the next FX event.
“Treat others with respect and you will always be wealthy, because your community is your real currency.” – Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life