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The best industry conferences for financial advisors to attend in 2021

Attending industry conferences allows advisors to network, hear from experts, and explore relevant challenges and opportunities facing today’s financial services industry.

Attendees take the knowledge gained from these events and integrate it into their practice to further deliver value to clients.

Many of these conferences were interrupted in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic shutting down all in-person events after the March outbreak through the end of the year. Planned events were canceled or rescheduled, while most pivoted to a virtual format.

Virtual events 

For the first time in eight years, our own AdvisorEngine >drive conference was not held in person. Instead, we designed an immersive, virtual experience focused on engagement. This event allowed our community to gather virtually advisors, CEOs, firm principals, administrative assistants, and operations leaders alike to share ideas, knowledge, and experiences. Many others follow suit. 

No one knows whether or not advisor conferences will be in-person events this year. As health concerns and social distancing demands continue, I imagine most will be held virtually. 

Like conventional conferences, virtual events are highly engaging and include extensive sessions run by industry leaders who present and interact with attendees. Attendees can choose sessions and engage through polls, chats, and live Q&As during these sessions. Some virtual event technologies automatically break attendees into small groups to discuss topics bringing together like-minded advisors.

This sense of community is the motivation to attend any event, whether in-person or virtual. The opportunity to engage with people, other advisors, to learn and be inspired is invaluable.

This year, I sat down again and made a list of some conferences that I would recommend you add to your list to consider. Some have already occurred, but I linked to the information anyway to get an idea of the schedule. Others haven't happened yet, so it's not too late to register.

Your custodian’s annual conference 

Your relationship with your custodian is a partnership, and their yearly events offer an opportunity to get an update on your custodian’s roadmap for products and services. Here are some examples listed in alphabetical order:

These conferences offer the chance to interact with peers and custodian representatives discussing industry trends, practice management ideas, and challenges. The agenda for custodian events is usually very comprehensive, with many sessions to choose from; there’s something for everyone.

National or regional industry association events 

With the trend of virtual events, chances are you can catch a national or even a local industry association conference online. These associations provide opportunities for both continuing education (CE) as well as networking. These events offer insights into what’s going on in our industry and the latest regulatory issues.

Technology and vendor conferences 

I also recommend that you tune into events hosted by your technology partners. Like our own AdvisorEngine >drive conference mentioned above, it’s a place to learn, interact with executives, and provide feedback in real-time.

Technology is critical in an advisor’s business model; these conferences are designed to maximize your return on investment with your tech stack. These events are an opportunity to get a sneak peek at product roadmaps while learning about exciting new features and functionality that are in the works.

Community Matters 

Connecting with your community matters, especially during this time when limiting face-to-face interactions is the norm. Consider joining a virtual meetup or forum with fellow advisors a place to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices. Many of these events are designed to provide effective insights and strategies. Learn by engaging and developing real-world tools to help you distinguish yourself. 

AdvisorEngine wants to help you connect. As your technology partner, we want to be there every step of the way to help future-proof your business. Our team is here to support you.


This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Opinions and forecasts discussed are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect the views of AdvisorEngine and are subject to change without notice. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.

David Coyle

David Coyle

David Coyle is Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development at AdvisorEngine. He is responsible for all aspects of business development including client relationships and partnership opportunities. David has a unique blend of technology and business knowledge gained from more than 20 years of experience in the financial and wealth management industry. Prior to joining AdvisorEngine, David worked as part of the wealth management team for Interactive Data Corporation—helping financial services and wealth management firms to provide market data, mobile tools and web tools to customers and financial professionals. David also served in business development and sales roles with BlackBerry, Outercurve Technologies and Northstar System, though he began his career as a private client advisor with Merrill Lynch. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Messiah College.


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