In past years, our “best of” conferences list has included lots of entries, but this year we’re capping it at ten.
See previous “Best Conferences for Financial Advisors” Lists here: 2023 | 2022
But before we dive into our best conferences for 2024, let’s first begin by talking about the three things that we all wish would change in the year ahead:
1. Conferences that start on the weekend
Who started the trend of conferences kicking off on Sunday? I would like a word.
We all spend enough time away from our families while we’re working, and traveling for work on a weekend is not where it’s at, folks.
Beyond a Sunday start, how about we reimagine conference days entirely? I’d like to advocate for Wednesday through Friday conferences instead of the seemingly endless Monday through Wednesday scheduling. As a business owner, I’d rather have my team go home and rest than have to power through the rest of the workweek after a tiring travel schedule.
2. Presentations on the final day after half of attendees have already left
While we’re talking about programming schedules for conferences, let’s just do away with that awkward final half-day, okay? End your conference with the closing night reception and let people have the next day to travel.
The last half-day is typically only half-full as a good chunk of the conference has either left by that time or had a little bit too much fun at the closing reception the night before. Speakers and sponsors who get slotted into those final day sessions are never enthused about it, either.
3. Exhibition floors marooned on an island
If you’ve been attending conferences for years, you’ve likely run into at least one where the sponsors and exhibit hall are sequestered in a separate part of the hotel. Whether that’s down an excruciatingly long hallway or on an entirely different floor, it’s not always the conference’s fault – hotel layouts can be a little odd at times.
Still, it’s not a great experience for anyone involved – both the sponsors shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of merely being present, or the attendees who want to speak to them.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on and focus on our top 10 conferences providing noteworthy experiences for financial advisors in 2024.
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When it’s happening
December, with exact dates and location to be determined
Why we’re excited
In what’s been called “The Davos of Wealth Management,” The MarketCounsel Summit acts as the industry’s capstone event, rounding out the yearly calendar and bringing together leaders at the largest and most innovative RIA firms just before the holiday break.
It’s an event that prioritizes advisor voices by putting RIA executives on stage to discuss the current and future challenges facing their firms and the industry overall. And with MarketCounsel at the helm, you know that the compliance discussions are always illuminating as well as entertaining (something we can’t always say about compliance).
As good as the content is each year, we also understand that what typically makes an event worthwhile (especially for executive-level financial professionals) is the networking. And you won’t find an event that provides better conversations and relationship-building opportunities with the industry’s leaders than The MarketCounsel Summit.
How to register
The MarketCounsel Summit is invitation only, but you can request your invite here.
September 15-18, 2024 in Huntington Beach, CA
Why we’re excited
Future Proof is an experience like none other in the wealth management industry. The event is billed as a “festival” rather than a “conference” and much of the setup of the event supports that naming convention as it’s held outside on the Huntington Beach boardwalk.
Beyond the exterior setting, which is a welcome break from the endlessly repetitive hotel hallways, Future Proof broke new ground in 2023 with its BreakThru meetings which sought to act a little bit like Wealth Management Tinder. By creating double opt-in meetings between attendees, BreakThru meetings ensure that it’s setting up meetings everyone wants to be part of before the event even kicks off.
In 2024, the Future Proof brand will be expanding further with the Future Proof Retreat, a smaller event taking place at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.
Click here to sign up.
Exact dates to be determined
Asset-Map’s AdviceTech.LIVE is a unicorn in the fact that it is the only virtual event on our top conferences list. That isn’t because it’s the only virtual event still kicking, though.
Plenty of companies have continued to embrace the digital-only trend since COVID-19 mucked everything up in the events space. But AdviceTech.LIVE has a few things going for it that others don’t: The 2023 edition was free, and donations benefited organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in honor of longtime industry consultant Gavin Spitzner, who passed away in early 2023.
Beyond its social work, though, AdviceTech.LIVE embraces what makes digital events good—namely, it keeps things short. No one wants to spend 8 hours in front of their computer watching 1-hour long presentations. AdviceTech.LIVE moves along at a fast clip and only asks for an afternoon (or two) of your attention.
Registration will open on the AdviceTech.LIVE website once the dates are announced
October 23-25, 2024 in Nashville, TN
Nitrogen (formerly Riskalyze) puts on a conference experience that rivals events five times its size. You won’t find an industry CEO who hits his marks more flawlessly than outgoing CEO Aaron Klein. By the way, the 2024 event will be a “must attend” if only to see how new CEO Dan Zitting takes over and maintains the high-energy show that Klein has been captain of up until now. Outside of the theatrics, though, the Nitrogen event has the content to make the week worthwhile. With a focus on growth strategies for advisors that pairs nicely with its own product-centric workshops, the Fearless Investing Summit is an event you can attend with no fear of not getting a positive ROI.
Click here to sign up now.
March 12-15, 2024 in San Diego, CA
If you’re an advisor who uses the Orion platform, this one is a no-brainer. Since launching the Ascent conference in 2017, Orion has raised the bar each and every time it has hosted its event. While there’s no agenda or speaker list yet for 2024, Orion has an incredible roster of homegrown talent to pull from (hello, Daniel Crosby) to deliver can’t-miss keynotes. And in a location like San Diego in March, this is an event that delivers industry insights and thought leadership that’s worth the price of admission even if you aren’t a current Orion user.
Click here to register.
Excell Represent is an event dedicated to celebrating and elevating the women in the wealth management industry. Much more than just a women-led event, this event honors trailblazers with the “Women in Wealth Management” awards (a few notable 2023 winners included Diana Cabrices and Sheryl Hickerson, among others). The content each year includes insightful panels and keynotes from powerhouse women, but it’s also important to note that isn’t an event that excludes men; the site notes that “male allies in leadership who are committed to building a firm culture that empowers and supports women” are also welcome to attend.
Click here for 2023 information.
January 22-25, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada
This is the 20th anniversary of Joel Bruckenstein’s Technology Tools for Today, the premier FinTech-focused conference for wealth management. Nearly every notable tech solution for advisors has either gotten its start or launched an important product at a T3 conference, and for that reason this event has become a critical part of the conference circuit. We’ve said it before, but we’ll repeat it again: If you’re a financial professional in the hunt for new and existing technology, you can’t go wrong by attending T3 to get one-on-one conversions with FinTech leaders. T3 is also notable for its annual Advisor Technology Software survey, which helps advisors to get a quantitative idea of which tech solutions are rising (or falling) in firms across the country.
June 3-6, 2024 in Las Vegas, NV
AICPA Engage is one of the premier events for accounting and tax professionals, and it’s the only event on this list that isn’t exclusively wealth management-focused. Like many conferences, the continuing education opportunities are many, but here you can attain CPE credits and IRS Enrolled Agents in addition to CFP credits. It’s not a question that tax planning is having its moment in the sun with wealth managers, and that’s reason enough to list Engage on the best conferences for financial advisors list. Even if your firm doesn’t currently prioritize tax planning, this event can be the place to jumpstart CPA relationships if you’re an advisor looking to expand your network with like-minded professionals.
Click here for 2024 registration information.
May 13-16, 2024 in Hollywood, FL
Since bringing together multiple event brands into one mega-event, Wealth Management EDGE has steadily found its footing. At times, the agenda may be a little daunting with three separate content tracks all taking place at the same time but those concurrent tracks also mean that EDGE truly has something for everyone. It’s tough to send your team to different events at different times, and EDGE can be a single event that your CEO, CTO, and CIO all attend at the same time to collectively level up. If you’re a smaller firm without all those fancy titles, you still benefit—after all, you’re probably handling all those responsibilities yourself even if you aren’t giving yourself all the titles.
Sign up here.
March 23-25, 2024 in Orlando, FL
We attended the first Shift in San Antonio last year to record episodes of our On The Circuit podcast, and we were blown away by the unique and imaginative planning conversations. The value of Shift is that it defines content through a “human first” lens—in short, if you have an interest in behavioral finance and learning how to build more authentic relationships with your clients, this is the event to attend. Like a few other conferences on this list, the 2024 event breaks one of our cardinal rules listed out at the start of this blog (the conference starts on a Sunday and we’re fierce advocates of no weekend conferences), but the content here is so good that we’re giving it a mulligan and two big thumbs up.
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