As we enter the financial services era of leaner and meaner-and that's putting the best possible spin on it-spending $1,495 for a ticket to the annual pilgrimage to BAI's Retail Delivery show, or for IT security folks, RSA's annual conference, just may not be in the budget in the coming months. There are a couple of innovative alternatives that offer a sampler of financial services technology at a fraction of the cost, if also a fraction of the depth.

Online Banking Report's Jim Breune will host Finovate 2008 in New York later this month, the second time Online Financial Innovations has given new or young financial services technology companies a brief seven minutes at the podium to demonstrate what their latest and greatest can do. This year's Finovate costs $1,095 to attend, and will give more than 20 companies the opportunity to put up a demo-Powerpoints are banned. "If you're just a regular person at Retail Delivery, it's hard to find what's the new product amongst the entire exhibition floor; and if you go to the sessions they're so hit-or-miss," says Breune, himself a former banking product manager. "My idea was to boil it down to just the products, and get that into a seven minute demo....and have time for the 'stage rush' at the end."

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