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Part 2: Financial Advisor Industry Conference Guide

With the 2024 conference season in full swing, we thought it would be a good time for a follow-up to our previous post that highlighted annual conferences you may want to attend throughout the year and how to best get involved. In this post, we’ll discuss your timeline for attending any conference: how to prepare, what to focus on when you’re there, and what to do after the event to get the most out of it. With this guide, your next conference can be as simple as 1, 2, 3.

1. Prepare

Once you select a conference or event you want to attend, we recommend some light planning to help you prepare. In the months leading up to the event, you will have a few decisions to make to get yourself ready for the conference. Remember to consult each conference’s website, as they’ll have their own deadlines for registration and sponsorship. Consider this timeline as a general guide:

  • Conference – 6 months: Discuss with your team who will attend the conference and what level of involvement you’d like to have. If you wish to speak and/or sponsor a booth or event, get that process started at this time.
  • C – 45 days: Create and order any swag and merchandise, including business cards, collateral, branded booth materials, and wearables that you’ll want to have at the event. This is also a good time to plan your travel arrangements and accommodations.
  • C – 14 days: Two weeks out, you should have all the items you need in hand. Consider reaching out to other participants to invite them to connect at your events or one-on-one.
  • C – 3 days: Post to social media to share your enthusiasm and provide details on where to find your team, if applicable.


2. Attend the Conference

When the event finally arrives, all your planning will pay off, and you can enjoy the excitement around the gathering. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of the event:

  • Maximize your schedule. Now is not the time to relax and unwind; we advise you to maximize your time and attend as many sessions, panels, happy hours, and meetings as you can. If several people from your company are in attendance, divide and conquer! Then, share what you’ve learned with each other.
  • Network. Grab your hand sanitizer and get ready to shake some hands! When you meet new people, ask questions about their line of work and expertise, who they serve, and how their experience is similar or different to yours. Don’t be shy about exchanging information with folks you think you could learn from or work with in the future.
  • Keep connecting after hours. Attend happy hours or networking sessions with smaller groups, if they’re offered. The more relationships you can build, the better! Many attendees look forward to these happenings the most.
  • Social media or it didn’t happen! Don’t forget to post while you’re at the conference. Use the official hashtag and tag contacts you meet or learn from. This is an easy way for other attendees to find you and collaborate in the future.


3. Follow Up

When you go home, you’re not done!

  • Recap! Be sure to share the information you’ve learned with your colleagues and social networks. We suggest a recap post with conference takeaways 1-2 weeks afterward.
  • Expand your network. Add your new contacts to your LinkedIn network and company mailing lists.
  • Send follow-up messages to your new contacts letting them know how nice it was to meet them and how to connect with you more in the future.

We know conferences can feel overwhelming — particularly deciding which events to attend and how to maximize your experience. Most of our clients who spend time preparing for and attending find them well worth the effort and resources. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the preparation phase, reach out to us! We will help you with social media content, ordering swag or business cards, and more so that you can attend the event and get the most out of it.

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