By: Abby Salameh, Chief Marketing Officer
Published July 18, 2018
The importance of attending the right conferences should not be taken lightly as they provide an invaluable resource for independent investment advisors and the continued growth of your advisory firm. Summer is the perfect time for planning your fall conference calendar. Here’s a preview of a few top conferences to get you started:
September 13 | Denver, CO
For over five years, the Women Adviser Summit has hosted over 1,600 women across the country with the goal of investing in their business, their brand and themselves, while collaborating and networking with like-minded peers. This one-day workshop is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female advisor who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level. If you can’t attend, there’s an opportunity to another in San Francisco on October 23rd.
September 24-26 | Salt Lake City, UT
FSI Forum is an in-depth, issues-focused educational conference that includes both advisor-focused and firm executive-focused sessions, built by and for FSI members. At FSI Forum 2018, you will network and engage with your peers from across the independent financial services industry, in thought-provoking sessions and discussions focused on the hottest issues facing advisors and executives. Sessions will cover a variety of topics that will help you grow your business and serve your clients better than ever before. Learn more and register today!
September 24-26 | Coronado, CA
Insider’s Forum is the real-world extension of Bob Veres’ Inside Information, a master study group, provider of newsletters and articles as well as a general “curator” of information found throughout the financial advisory profession. Intended for experienced fiduciary professionals, the conference is designed to provide essential information for running and growing prosperous practices and better serving clients, as well as valuable opportunities for networking with industry thought leaders. The conference features three different conference tracks for different parts of your organization: CEO, CIO and COO.
October 3-5 | Chicago, IL
The FPA Annual Conference is the largest global gathering of CFP® professionals and thought leaders in financial planning, attracting over 2,000 attendees from more than 20 countries. This year’s speakers include Bill Cunningham, economist and impact investing specialist, Sheryl Garrett, founder of Garrett Planning Network, Bradley Klontz, co-founder of the Financial Psychology Institute, Ajamu Loving, Assistant Professor of Financial Planning at University of North Texas at Dallas, and Daniel Crosby, psychologist and behavioral finance expert. Attendees also receive full access to recorded sessions (and the CE that often goes with them) at no additional charge.
October 17-19 | San Antonio, TX
A newer entry to the circuit boasts the opportunity to network with over 550 investment professionals from all over the country as you discover the latest developments in financial advice and technology. The Fearless Investing Summit is Riskalyze’s annual conference, empowering financial advisors to recharge in a beautiful location, evaluate new ideas and tools, and receive invaluable education from world-class thought leaders. The event has already confirmed a great line up industry speakers and Hall of Fame Sportscaster, Dick Vitale!
October 28-30 | Boca Raton, FL
And finally, you didn’t think we were going to leave off our own event! Elite Retreat is an invitation-only event, designed specifically for the top independent advisors in our network. This two and a half day event consists of morning education and afternoon leisure. The sessions are hands-on workshops customized and executed with actionable ideas for our elite group to implement. We’ll be sending more details leading up to the event, and you can save the date on your calendar in the meantime.
How to Make the Most of your Next Advisor Conference
Need more guidance? Here are six tips to consider before, during, and after the conference to ensure a successful conference experience.
- Do your homework: There are new conferences each year, so research the ones that are the best fit for you. Weigh all the options: national vs. regional, large vs. small, focus of event. Are the speakers, sessions, sponsors/exhibitors aligned with your business goals? And last, but not least, factor your budget – the admission, airfare, hotels, etc.—they all add up.
- Create your own agenda: From the beginning, set clear goals. What do want you to gain from the conference? Who do you want to meet? What do you want to learn and can you receive CE credits? Make a schedule ahead of time and account for every hour of the day…and night. And include social/networking events, workshops, and other extra-circular activities offered.
- Engage with the community: In the weeks leading up to the event, let others know that you’ll be attending through your LinkedIn update and follow the event on Twitter to engage with the community. Find out if colleagues or clients will be attending and exchange ideas on what they’re plans are. Regularly check the conference website for any last minute news, session additions, cancellations or updates.
- Prepare your conference survival kit: The devil is in details is especially true for conferences, so remember to pack a foldable tote bag into your luggage, layers of clothing, and comfortable shoes. Also, plan ahead for special meals, bring lots of business cards, and plan for irregular hours. And a bonus tip: stay hydrated by having a water bottle with you during the day.
- Be on your A game: OK, it’s the first day of the conference; this is where the rubber meets the road. Pace yourself by planning for early mornings and late nights. Take a few moments at the start of the day to know where you’re going by reviewing the directory/map to orient yourself with the session rooms, food areas, and restrooms. When it comes to the sessions, be nimble. If a session is not what you expected, move on to an alternate session. And remember to take notes after each session and create takeaway follow-up actions from each session. And most important, be “ON” at all times – some of your best connections can be made on the coffee line.
- Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up: As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s ain’t over til it’s over.”When you get back to the office, reply to the post-conference survey and let management know what worked…and what didn’t. Be prepared to share with your colleagues what you learned and the value of the conference. For the more adventurous, you might even want to write a blog post for your website. And most important, keep up the momentum by following-up with everyone you met as soon as you return to the office. You’ll be glad you did.