Anyone who is interested in the conference can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, then we will give further details as soon as they become available.
We are still planning for our Annual Conference to take place on Thursday 10th September at the new One Space facility at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.
At this stage, six months away, it is impossible to say whether or not we will be able to keep to this date, or will decide to postpone or even cancel. What will conferences look like after COVID-19? All events organisers round the world will be considering this question, and bringing their innovation and ingenuity to bear, so the options should become clearer over the next few months.
There are various technological substitutes for some aspects of a conference – online speakers and fireside chats with Q&A, virtual workspaces, and exhibitor showcases – all of which may play an increased role in the continuation of traditional conferences and events.
However, one of the main features of the YCF Annual Conference, repeatedly said by delegates to be the top reason for attending, is the networking. Each year the event has been timed to be one of the first after the summer break, when investors and advisers are looking to the year ahead, and benefit from catching up with old friends, and making new acquaintances. Virtual meeting rooms cannot match the serendipity, flexibility, and freedom of being in a large gathering of people with similar interests, and it seems to be an inherent human need to meet others face to face.
We do as always have a theme for the conference, as a guide for inviting speakers and attracting delegates. This year we will be looking at how investors and investees work together, under the heading ‘Great Expectations’. We had originally thought that this would give the chance to debate matters such as valuations, follow-on rounds, routes to exit, and other areas where although investors and investees have the same overall goal they approach the subject from different angles. These topics will most certainly be supplemented by a consideration of how investors and investees have been able to work together to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As usual, we expect to have one or two speakers from investor organisations, together with other knowledgeable commentators, and as usual we intend to have speakers who are not regularly heard in Scotland. There will also be presentations by young company entrepreneurs, describing how their businesses have been funded and the lessons learnt along the way.
We sincerely hope we will be able to all meet together on 10th September, so do please note this date provisionally in your diaries, and we will give further information as soon as possible.