In 2023, financial advisors are dusting off their blazers, slapping on fresh name tags and marching back to conferences and professional events.
The return to air-conditioned conference rooms and fluorescent-lit exhibitor halls comes three years after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted professional conferences and events across industries.
This year, however, advisors plan to attend old standbys such as Schwab IMPACT and try out newcomers like Future Proof.
To uncover the financial advisor conference landscape in 2023, including the most popular conferences for advisors, SmartAsset surveyed more than 160 financial advisors on our platform. We asked them five questions about their comfort level attending conferences, travel preferences and which conferences they’re attending. For more information on our survey data, read our Data and Methodology section at the end of our study.
- More advisors said they’d attend Schwab IMPACT in 2023 than any other conference. Roughly 17% of the advisors surveyed said this conference, which will be held in late October in Philadelphia, is on their 2023 calendar. Other popular conferences included the Financial Planning Association (FPA) annual conference (8.97%) and Fearless Investing Summit (7.69%). Among write-in answers, LPL Focus was the most popular.
- Almost eight in 10 advisors are comfortable attending conferences. The COVID-19 pandemic is in the rearview mirror for many advisors. Another 3.18% are comfortable if certain masking and social distancing precautions are taken. Just 18.47% are uncomfortable attending conferences.
- Some advisors have doubts about the benefits conferences bring to their practices. Approximately 17% said they didn’t think live conferences held value for their practice and staying up to date with industry trends. Another 37.82% don’t attend conferences at all.
Most Popular Advisor Conferences for 2023
When asked, which conferences they were attending in 2023, advisors chose Schwab IMPACT as the most popular answer. The FPA annual conference and Fearless Investing Summit came in No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Fill-in-the-blank answers included LPL’s Focus conference, which was by far the most popular response, Cetera’s Connect2Peers conference and Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).
Some Advisors Don’t Think Conferences Are Useful to Their Practice
Advisor conferences run the gamut, focusing on everything from investing strategies to wealth management, business-building and financial technology. Despite this wealth of offerings, nearly 38% of the advisors surveyed said they don’t attend conferences on a regular basis.
Among those surveyed, more than half responded with “neutral” or “not useful” when asked, “How valuable do you think conferences are for your practice and staying up to date with industry trends?”
Advisors Are Comfortable Attending Conferences, But They Won't Travel Far
Much of the United States has returned to pre-pandemic norms when it comes to travel and group events. Advisors mirrored this return to normalcy, with more than three-quarters saying they were comfortable attending conferences. An additional 3.18% replied that they would be comfortable if certain masking and social distancing requirements are met.
That said, most advisors aren’t willing to travel too far to attend a conference. About 38% of advisor respondents said they’d travel to a conference that is drivable. Another 24.83% said it must be in their local city. Just 6.04% are willing to fly for more than five hours.
Data and Methodology
Survey data for this report was collected by SmartAsset between December 6, 2022, and December 20, 2022. A total of 163 financial advisors responded to our survey. Though the full survey was five questions, not all questions were applicable to all advisors and some advisors chose to skip certain questions. The full questions asked were:
- How valuable do you think live conferences are for your practice and staying up to date with industry trends?
- Are you comfortable attending live conferences in 2023?
- How far are you willing to travel for live conferences?
- How often do you attend conferences?
- Which conferences are you attending in 2023? (Please mark all that apply)
We used the largest sample possible when discussing results for any given question.
Tips for Growing Your Financial Advisory Business
- Let us be your organic growth partner. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. We match certified financial advisors with right-fit clients across the U.S.
- Expand your radius. SmartAsset’s recent survey shows that many advisors expect to continue meeting with clients remotely following COVID-19. Consider broadening your search and working with investors who are more comfortable with holding virtual meetings or spacing out in-person meetings.
Questions about our study? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org