Updated: February 17, 2022
What makes a great event?
Sure, you want to learn something. But you also want to meet some exciting new people. And you probably want to go somewhere fun and warm for it (especially if you live in a cold weather state like we do and it’s the dead of winter).
In our opinion, great conferences for financial advisors are all about the total experience that they create. Even though most conferences happen inside hotels, they all bring their own flavor and take on the structure and happenings that happen in that confined space.
When they get the experience right, they become can’t-miss events.
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If you’re looking for a fully comprehensive, detailed recap of all things advisor conferences, we recommend you click over to Michael Kitces’ blog to get into the weeds.
But if what you’re looking for instead is a list you can quickly scan and discover ten of the best events that advisors can attend in any given year, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the top 10 conferences for financial advisors that we’re excited to see in 2022.
Miami, FL – April 11 to 14 (NEW dates – moved from February)
Why We’re Excited:
Exchange ETF is the first of three brand-new conferences on our list this year. Two of them, including this one, are brought to you by Advisor Circle (a group of some of the best and most innovative event creators in this industry, or any other). That’s the first reason you should get excited.
There’s a lot of exciting content on the agenda, but we’re most pleased to see a heavy dose of digital asset talk (it’s fine if you hate it, you just can’t ignore it). The location is also superb—who doesn’t want to be in MIami Beach in February?
In partnership with ETF Trends, Exchange also rolled out out the #ETFintwit Top 50 list to celebrate the best people in the #Fintwit community and they’ll be there to kick off the conference too.
And—maybe best of all—it’s not just all fun. Exchange is putting a heavy emphasis on doing good in the community and has stepped up to donate tens of thousands of dollars already to charitable initiatives. You love to see it.
We’ll be in attendance, and we can’t wait to experience it all in April.
Denton, TX – May 2 to 5
T3 has long been one of the hallmark events in the advisor community for its core focus on advisor technology. It’s definitely a trade show feel—if you want to see tech products up close and hear a bunch of tech executives reveal their roadmaps and latest innovations, this is the conference where those types of announcements usually happen. It’s also the annual unveiling of the T3 Advisor Technology Survey, which the industry uses as a key benchmark to understand advisor sentiment towards their favorite (or least favorite) tech solutions.
T3 will be returning this year after taking a hiatus in 2021 due to COVID concerns, and we’re intrigued to see how it bounces back. There’s never a shortage of star power at the event, and we’ve always found this event to be a good place to grab extended conversations with tech executives between sessions or at the lobby bar when the day wraps up.
While the T3 Advisor and T3 Enterprise events have up until now been separate conferences, the 2022 edition rolls them into a single event. In a world where conference burnout is a real thing and firms already have tough choices to make about the one, maybe two events they attend in a year, combining the events looks like a savvy move.
T3 is returning to Denton, which is a suburb of Dallas, and the last time that happened Advicent NaviPlan hosted a closing night party that included Vanilla Ice. If T3 2022 comes close to that kind of experience, it will again be a winner.
Las Vegas, NV – May 4 to 6
Another brand-new conference on our list, this one is brought to you by the team at Snappy Kraken. What makes this conference unique is that it is 100% about marketing for advisors—there’s literally not another event on the calendar exactly like this one.
Being that we’re a marketing agency, you can imagine why this is an event that has us excited. In addition to some of the very best advisor-focused marketers like Robert Sofia, Emily Binder, Tina Powell, and Kelly Waltrich, Snappy is also bringing in the big guns with keynote speakers like Adam Morgan and Ekaterina Walter.
But one of the big problems with conferences, across all industries, is that panels often become a game of agreement between panelists who look very similar to each other. Those panels have a nickname—they’re called manels, because they’re typically composed only of men wearing the same Patagonia vests who look more like a police lineup than a group of people you want to listen to speak for an hour.
Thankfully, there’s not a manel in sight at Jolt!
And for the final reason we’re excited, we’ll be a little selfish—you can see our CEO, Johnny Sandquist, on the main stage on day one.
It’s all happening at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas this May.
Hollywood, FL – May 31 to June 3
When it debuted in late 2019, WealthStack immediately became one of our favorite events on the circuit and positioned itself as an instant contender for the best tech-focused event for advisors to attend.
But then COVID happened, and WealthStack took a long break. A lot has changed since then—including that the initial event runners, including the Ritholtz team, have moved on. This year’s event doesn’t lack for innovative minds behind it, though, as it’s now led by Mark Bruno at Informa.
Like T3, we’re intrigued to see how WealthStack repositions itself after its time away. Also like T3, the WealthStack event will be held alongside another previously standalone conference, Inside ETFs. For advisors, that might mean twice the return on value as they can attend tech sessions and ETF-centric sessions.
It looks like the speaker lineup is still taking shape, but if you found yourself to be a big fan of the Mannings on Monday Night Football this past fall, Eli Manning is set to speak. Line up, fanboys.
Huntington Beach, CA – September 11 to 14
If we were ranking this list by events we’re most excited about—which we aren’t, but IF we were—Future Proof would be at the top.
Future Proof is all-new this year from the Advisor Circle team (like Exchange) and it is going to be completely different than any event the wealth management industry has ever seen. It’s not just an event confined within the halls of a fancy hotel—it’s a city-wide experience on a mile-long strip.
It’s more like SXSW than Schwab IMPACT. In fact,they aren’t calling it a conference at all. They’re calling it a festival.
Just like the overall experience, the content promises to be different too. Future Proof is touting its no pay-to-play policy. Most events stack the main stage with the sponsors who pay the most. Future Proof is quick to point out it won’t do that, and speakers are chosen on merit (and the freshness of their ideas) only.
It looks like it’s all going to be way, way different than what we’ve seen before. We can’t wait.
Las Vegas, NV – September 13 to 15
Excell is like Mecca for advisors who are part of the Carson Group network, or even just look up to a mega-successful advisor like Ron Carson. You might classify it as more of a spiritual journey than an event, for some.
We made our first trip to Excell in 2021 and the event did not disappoint. From being held at the legendary Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, to outside-the-box keynote speakers like Sandra Joseph (from Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera), to advisor appreciation events like the closing night party inside the L.A. Raiders NFL stadium, everything about Excell is top shelf.
And not that we’re biased, but we couldn’t leave our hometown friends off the list of our favorite events. (Carson and Three Crowns are both from Omaha, NE.)
Virtual – September 29
For as many awful things as the pandemic brought us, it also did bring us a few good things. More time with our dogs. The elimination of hourlong commutes. And AdviceTech.LIVE, a one-day virtual conference hosted by our friends at Asset-Map.
A virtual conference has to be very good to get our recommendation. And 9 out of 10 of them aren’t going to pass the sniff test. But Asset-Map has cracked the code for how to make a virtual event feel beneficial instead of like a slog.
For one, it’s contained to just one day. While other companies tried to create multi-day events like a physical conference, the team at Asset-Map recognized that people want great content but they don’t want to sit in front of their computer for days at a time to get it (we already do that!).
AdviceTech keeps the sessions moving quickly, and provides real-time chat for attendees to stay connected while they watch the happenings on their screens. Most sessions are 30 to 45 minutes long, which feel like the perfect amount of time. And throughout the day, sessions are broken up to make time for 10-minute tech demos.
We also appreciate how Asset-Map brings in outside benefactors for charitable donations. Fifty percent of ticket sales from 2021’s event went to the Foundation for Financial Planning, a nonprofit organization that provides financial advice to families who can’t otherwise afford it.
Salt Lake City – October 19 to 21
Riskalyze events are always a little outside what you’d normally expect from other advisor conferences. That starts with the setting: Instead of picking the usual cities all other events choose like Miami, San Diego, Vegas, or Boston, Riskalyze is taking its next event to Salt Lake City and opening up a brand new hotel with its event, too.
It’s still too early to know the agenda or speaker lineup, but Riskalyze has never disappointed in the past.
If Carson Excell is Mecca for Carson partners, then the Fearless Investing Summit is the equivalent for Riskalyze users. If you know your Risk Number, you probably need to make it to this conference.
Denver, CO – November dates TBD
Schwab IMPACT is another one of those events that’s been gone for a while due to COVID. It went virtual in both 2020 and 2021, but signs are promising that it will return in 2022. So far, the only information is a single line on the IMPACT website about Denver in November (that kind of rhymes, right?).
When it does happen in-person, though, IMPACT is one of the headliners for advisor events. It has CE opportunities galore, globally recognized keynote speakers, and thousands of potential new connections to be made.
The 2022 event will also be the first mass-scale meetup since Schwab took over TD Ameritrade. How much bigger will the event grow now that its advisor base has substantially grown? Or will the event pull back and only invite firms at higher AUM levels to keep attendance manageable?
Whatever happens, this is one of the biggest and best events of the year, hands down.
Las Vegas, NV – December 5-8
The MarketCounsel Summit is the last major industry event each year, and it feels like a celebratory meetup with your best friends as you get ready to head into the holidays.
We were lucky to be part of the Summit for the first time in 2021 as our CEO, Johnny Sandquist, had the opportunity to be part of a panel and we won’t ever miss this event again.
It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been there, but the MarketCounsel team has structured their event to be a place where it’s easy to have conversations with any of the other attendees. There aren’t complicated multi-track sessions to keep track of—there are only main stage speakers. That alone makes it so much easier to take in the content and find extra time to meet and have in-depth conversations with other attendees who you might only get to see for five minutes at another event as they hurry off to their next breakout.
If you want to end your year on a high note and go into the next feeling like you’ve made real, life and career-changing connections, then the MarketCounsel Summit needs to be on your list.
The more good that an event can do in our communities and throughout our country, the more we can get behind it and recommend it.
It’s a trend we’re seeing develop throughout conferences, and we hope to see it become even larger in the years ahead.
Which events are you attending this year? Let us know on Twitter. We’d love to meet you there!
Since first publishing this blog in January 2022, more events have come onto the scene that we think deserve a mention outside of the initial list we created. As we add more, we’ll put them here.
Our friends at Advisor Perspectives are hosting three virtual summits this year in April, August, and December. The big draw here? Earn free CE credit without leaving your home.
Austin, TX – June 8-9
The Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals will host its Vision conference this summer with a special focus on (you guessed it) digital assets. As crypto assets become more mainstream, it’s essential that financial advisors learn about them so they can have informed conversations (we’re not saying you have to manage and advise on them, but you should be able to do more than say “I don’t know”). Also, add “tour a bitcoin mining facility” to the list of most unique conference agenda items we’ve ever seen.
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