Financial industry conferences are a great way to network, hear about new and emerging trends in the financial advice world, and take some time away from your practice to think about growth. But it can be a little overwhelming to choose which conferences are worth the time and resources and how to get the most out of events you do attend.
At GMP, we love attending financial industry conferences to network and make connections, and we help our clients with their conference strategy. We believe that if you have a solid plan, conferences can open new opportunities for connection and business growth.
We’ve developed this Financial Advisor’s Conference Guide to help you make sure you take advantage of all the conference season has to offer! In Part 1, we’ll discuss which conferences we recommend and some options for how involved you’ll be at the conference you attend.
There are so many industry conferences that financial advisors could attend, and the list seems to grow all the time. There are a few that have proved their worth in recent years, leading GMP to attend, recommend them to clients, and follow them remotely. Here are our top 9:
- Future Proof
- Schwab IMPACT
- eMoney Advisor Summit
- InvestmentNews RIA Summit
- Barron’s Women Summit
- MarketCounsel Summit
How involved will you be?
Industry conferences allow for many different experiences, each at different price points and varying levels of prominence. Often, the deadline to commit to these sponsorship opportunities will be several months ahead of the conference date, so keep an eye on the calendar.
Consider the following ways to stand out at the conference you’re attending:
- Attend as a guest: This is our recommendation for your first event so you can get a good grasp on the way the event runs, the audience it hosts, and general vibes. You can plan for a day or weekend of learning from industry leaders, seeing where the industry’s future is headed, and meeting others in your field.
- Speak on a panel: This is an excellent option to raise your profile as an expert in the industry and establish your voice as a thought leader. While speaking on a panel isn’t always feasible and requires a bit of planning with conference coordinators, you can anticipate a lot of networking and social media buzz if you do get the opportunity to speak.
- Host a happy hour: Your firm could sponsor a networking event, like a happy hour, and invite a niche group of peers to network at many industry events. This requires some planning and financial support but having a smaller venue to connect at a large conference can open the doors to deeper relationships and offer growth for your business.
- Rent a booth to showcase your business: At many events, you can rent a booth, decorate it with your company’s branding, and hand out swag to conference attendees who stop by. It can be a great way to share information about your company and what you do while reaching a larger audience.
- Attend virtually: Some conferences allow you to view speakers and panels online. You can gain a lot of information and insights just by participating this way. While this option is somewhat less effective for networking, it is often more cost-effective and can save you time if you’re not interested in all of the topics at the conference or prepared to travel.
We know conferences can feel overwhelming – choosing which ones and then getting everything you can out of the ones you attend can feel like a lot. At GMP, we’ve always found that with a little planning and intention, financial advisors can get a lot of value out of industry conferences. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Financial Advisor Industry Conference Guide where we’ll discuss what to do before, during, and after your conference to get the most out of it!