When looking to deepen your industry knowledge and learn from the pros, financial conferences can be a great investment of your time! There’s hundreds of conferences to choose from, yet many advisors aren’t taking advantage of these opportunities. Even if you’ve been to one or two, it’s more helpful to attend multiple conferences regularly. Each unique atmosphere provides different information and the influx of technology in the industry means there’s always new trends to be aware of.
Conferences allow you to learn from other financial professionals who have been in the business for longer or have a different way of doing things that can help give you a new perspective. However, it can be costly to register for and travel too so it’s important to make sure you’re willing to sacrifice the time and money. According to Michael Kitces, going to even one conference can potentially give you an idea that increases your efficiency by 5% and equals a month’s worth of work! So, even if it may take a few days with travel, attending a conference can be well worth the effort!
If you’ve never considered the benefits of attending a financial conference, it may be overwhelming. After all, there’s a lot of options out there and you want to make sure you’re choosing those that are going to be worth your time. To give you a little more direction, we’ve outlined the benefits of attending, what you should look for when choosing which conferences to attend and some of the top conferences you should keep an eye out for in 2018!
Benefits of Attending
Change of Scenery
You likely spend almost all of your work time in the office and with clients. While this is necessary for the job, it can be really helpful to take a step outside your comfort zone. You may be so used to the same opinions from your coworkers and daily routines that you fail to see ways to improve. Going to a financial conference can really open up your perspective and help you see outside your firm. You may find a new aspect of your firm you’d like to focus on more or have a breakthrough idea for a situation that’s been bothering you.
Meeting New People
At financial conferences, you’ll be surrounded by other professionals with a similar career and interests. These people will almost certainly have different ways of doing things than you, meaning anyone you talk to can be an opportunity to learn something! Picking up tips from other successful people can lead to huge improvements in your own business. Even small habits or processes have the potential to lead to a large increase in efficiency over time. You’ll be able to share your own experiences too, and maybe even forge some professional friendships that promote a continued exchange of expertise. These conferences also allow you to network and maybe even meet a potential business partner!
Beyond the people and scenery, you’ll be hearing and seeing leading edge trends and developments in the industry. Being in this atmosphere is exciting and can be exactly what you need to get your creative gears flowing. If you’ve been in a bit of a rut or stuck in a routine for a while, being around people with a lot of energy and new ideas can help you tap into your own originality.
How to Choose Which Conferences to Attend
When it comes to picking which conferences to attend, there’s a few things to consider. First, evaluate your learning style. Each conference is executed in a different manner so think about how you will be able to get the most from the experience. For example, some will be lecture heavy, meaning large amounts of information to take in all at once and less interaction. This is great for people who learn well by taking notes and processing on their own. Others will have more breaks for working in small groups, watching videos or doing role play. These types of formats are great for those who learn better visually or by discussing with others. There are many conferences that have a variety of activities, so be sure to check out the schedule of events when doing your research.
Focus of the Conference
Depending on the type of advising you do or your role at the firm, what you hope to get out of a conference can vary. Most financial conferences will have some sort of focus, whether that be technical knowledge, prospecting, using new technology in your firm or client communications. Knowing your focus will help you narrow down which conferences are worth attending and make it easier for you to decide.
When doing your research and signing up, make sure the information about the conference is clear, well-organized and abundant. If the details are very vague or the website isn’t well organized, this could be an indication that the conference will be similar. Before committing to attending or paying a fee, look into the credentials of the speakers, the venue, the host organization and the event size. If any of these seem off, it may not be a great choice.
Financial Conferences to Look out for in 2018
1. InVest 2018
Where: New York, NY
When: July 10-11, 2018
Why: InVest is geared towards topics on investing, saving and giving financial advice. This is a great conference to consider attending because it goes deep into the details of digital transformation and trends like AI, robo-advising and catering to millennials. They have a ton of great speakers queued up, as well as product demos and networking breaks.
2. XYPN Live
Where: St. Louis, Missouri
When: September 23-26, 2018
Why: This conference is hosted by the XY Planning Network and is perfect for advisors who are fairly new to the industry and have a focus on Gen X and Gen Y clients. They’ll give advice on how to outline a successful business model, implementing technology and building your firm. A notable aspect of this conference is its FinTech Competition, which promotes technological innovation in the industry. Although the application for competing is now closed, it can still be a fun and insightful event to observe.
Where: Chicago, Illinois
When: October 3-5, 2018
Why: The FPA Annual Conference is one of the largest international financial conferences, making it a prime event for meeting top professionals and hearing from the best in the business. It’s great for CFPs at any experience level and their vast array of speakers promises a busy and productive trip. BONUS: You may just see us there taking free headshots 😉
Where: Orlando, Florida
When: September 26-29, 2018
Why: This is a unique event with a large focus on digital content and promotion such as blogging and social media. They also cover other leading trends in branding and marketing. These are skills that are very important today, yet many advisors struggle with. This could be a great option for you if expanding your digital presence is one of your goals. With speakers such as Rachel Cruze and Chris Hogan, this four day conference provides the opportunity for some great takeaways.
Where: Orlando, Florida
When: October 8-10, 2018
Why: This is a great conference for anyone using eMoney’s technology! The focus of their 2018 summit is on becoming a more flexible advisor and training to achieve your best practice. Bonus: find out how to use eMoney’s lead generation tools in conjunction with your website like Park Hill!