The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a number of dramatic changes for the typical financial advisor, who suddenly found themselves meeting with all their clients virtually, managing their entire team virtually… and trying – usually unsuccessfully – to network with other financial advisors at virtual conferences. As in the end, while the transition to Zoom-based conferences was ‘reasonably’ successful at delivering content for advisors, it’s done very little to alleviate the sense of isolation that has come with 18+ months of a work-from-home environment and the near-total shutdown of financial advisor conferences.
And so as vaccination rates continue to rise across the country – now accelerating as age 5–11 vaccines begin to roll out – advisors are steadily returning to the office, conferences are preparing to re-open their doors for in-person events in 2022… and a lot of advisors are expressing a newfound desire to get out from their 4 walls, take a trip (or an extended vacation!), and reconnect with other financial advisors and get some fresh ideas and inspiration about ‘what’s next’ for their own advisory businesses. Which just raises one key question: if you’re going to go back out for a conference in 2022, for the first time in nearly 3 years… what’s the best conference to attend?
As someone that has been speaking at 50-70 conferences a year for almost 15 years myself, I’ve seen the good and bad of our wide range of industry events, which are spread across membership associations, broker-dealers, insurance companies, RIA custodians, product manufacturers, media companies, private events, and more. And as a result, I am often asked for my own suggestions of what, really, are the industry’s ‘best’ conferences to attend.
Accordingly, back in 2012, I started to craft my own annual list of 'best-in-class' top conferences for financial advisors, allocated across a range of different categories (as what’s best for solo advisors isn’t the same as what’s best for larger advisor enterprises, what’s best for fee-for-service advisors isn’t the same as what’s best for AUM firms, more technically oriented advisors will prefer different conferences than those seeking practice management or marketing ideas, etc.).
Having updated our annual conference list in every year since, I’m excited now to present my newest list of “Top Financial Advisor Conferences” for the upcoming 2022 year, including both some technical conferences, a wide range of practice management conferences, and highlighting a few never-before-seen events that are emerging for the first time in the coming year.
In addition, we've also launched a new "Master Conference List" of all financial advisor conferences in 2022, for both advisors looking for a wider range of events to attend, and for vendors looking for more conferences to exhibit at!
Of course, because of the disruption of the pandemic, it’s not entirely clear whether some events will show up in 2022 differently than they did the last time they were in person (which for most, was all the way back in 2019!). Nonetheless, as long as you find the conference that is the right type for you, the odds are good that your experience will be good when the content is more relevant, and the other attendees are similar to you (because they, too, were looking for the same thing!).
So I hope you find this year’s 2022 conferences list (and our new Master Conference 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!