The need to engage in continuous learning is a simple reality for anyone in professional services. As a profession’s body of knowledge grows and evolves with ongoing research and discoveries, new products and solutions, and emerging best practices, even the best practitioners have to update their knowledge and skills from time to time. You want your surgeon to be up to speed on the latest surgical techniques that speed recovery time and reduce scarring. You want your lawyer to know the latest laws and regulations that might adversely impact your business to reduce the risk of regulatory or legal hassles. And consumers want their professional financial advisors to be up to date as well.
And the reality is that while you can get a lot of this continuing professional education directly from the comfort of your own office, in a technology-driven world with an ever-growing number of webinars and reading opportunities – including in the Members Section of this blog! – it’s still important at least once a year to take a break from the office and get away from it all. Both to give yourself the opportunity to really immerse in your education without the inevitable drumbeat of distractions in the office. And because mentally, you really can better focus on your education and thinking about steps to improve your business when you get away from it for a few days.
The caveat, however, is that these days, there is an overwhelming number of financial advisor conferences to choose from. Because while the good news is that for most successful advisory firms, it just takes one good takeaway from a conference that can be implemented in the business to make the whole trip worthwhile… the bad news is if you don’t find a conference that’s the right fit for your needs and business, you aren’t likely to find even that one good takeaway. Which makes both the expense of the conference, and the lost time out of the office, very costly indeed.
As someone that has been speaking at nearly 70 conferences a year for almost a decade myself, I’ve seen the good and bad of our various industry events, which are spread across membership associations, broker-dealers and insurance companies and RIA custodians, product manufacturers, trade publications, private events, and more. And as a result, am often asked for my own suggestions of what, really, are the industry’s “Best” conferences to attend.
Yet the reality is that what conference is “best” really depends on what you, personally, are looking for. Some advisors are focused more on broad-based technical educational content, while others want to go deep into a niche. Some advisors want practice management advice as business owners, while others need help with their personal career development as employee advisors instead. Some want to talk about innovating technology, while others want to innovate new business models.
Accordingly, back in 2012 I started to craft my own annual list of “best-in-class” top conferences for financial advisors in various categories (to allow advisors to match the available conference specialties to their own needs), and have updated it every year since in what has become one of our most popular annual articles.
And so now, I’m excited to present my newest list of “Top Financial Advisor Conferences” for the upcoming 2019 year, from practice management to technology to career development and deep-dive educational content, and a special focus on the rise of “niche” financial advisor conferences aiming to serve the growing number of financial advisors who themselves are focusing more and more into niches to differentiate themselves in today’s competitive environment.
So, I hope you find this year’s 2019 conferences list to be helpful as a guide in planning your own conference budget and schedule for next year, and be certain to take advantage of the special discount codes that several conferences have offered to all of you as Nerd’s Eye View readers!