Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Yes. There are endless free lunches, dinners and drinks if you do the conference circuit.

Are trade shows and conferences really worth going to? Every day there seems to an invitation in my inbox to be somewhere.

Last week the SIBOS show hit Boston. SIBOS is to men in financial technology what Christmas is to the rest of us. Gifts and drunk people.

Squeezy stress balls, free cocktail vouchers, karaoke hosted by Norwegian or Swedish banks. All in the name of straight through processing, clearing and settlement and all things IT for finance.

The topics discussed at SIBOS are not really life changing at all, but people in the office are ready to poison their co- worker’s coffee to make sure they get a spot.

The best thing about it is that it’s a traveling circus so some years you can get a really good vacation out of it. Sydney, Singapore, San Francisco and Stockholm have all been memorable. People have had to take many sick days after to recover from the jetlag and the booze.

Did Boston deliver the SIBOS experience? If you went, let me know who won the karaoke contest.