Conference room full of people

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Conferences

As a financial advisor, you know that nothing can take the place of an in-person, face-to-face conversation. But for more than two years, with the COVID-19 pandemic stopping almost all in-person conferences and networking events, your screen has had to serve as your meeting space. Now, in-person events are slowly starting to reappear. Here are a few ways to make the most of financial advisor conferences. 

1. Focus on Your Goals

Ask yourself why you’re attending this specific conference. Do you want to connect with potential clients, learn about the latest developments in the field or expand your professional education? Most conferences for financial advisors offer a range of opportunities, and focusing on your professional goals can help you choose the sessions, meetings and conversations that are most important to you. 

2. Plan Your Days

Many conferences for financial advisors start with a keynote breakfast, have multiple sessions that run throughout the day and continue well into the evening with informal opportunities for socializing. Block out the key events you want to attend.

If you know your days will be long, build in some downtime before or after these events. Know your limits — if back-to-back sessions exhaust you, allow yourself to skip one. And if you need to, block out time to catch up on your email or check in with your team.

3. Build Your Network

Networking events for financial advisors give you an excellent opportunity to connect with other people who share your interests. If there are attendees or presenters you know you’ll want to meet, ask for an introduction or send them an email ahead of time to see if they would like to connect.

Plan for the time you’ll spend with your existing connections. You probably want to catch up with people you haven’t seen in person in a long time. Schedule a coffee break or meal together, but give yourself time to meet new people, too. At the start or end of sessions and during breaks, introduce yourself to other attendees. After the conference, you can send quick emails to the people you met. 

4. Be Mindful of Your Conversations

When you’re excited about your work or the conference, it can be easy to do a lot of talking. Remind yourself to ask thoughtful questions about what people are working on or which conference sessions have impacted them. And listen to their answers carefully. Also, if you’re introducing people to each other, share details of their lives that might help them find common interests. 

5. Keep an Eye on Twitter

You don’t want to be looking at your phone every minute. But your conference may have a hashtag you can follow where you may see who else is attending and learn about sessions you might have overlooked. You can even live-Tweet the conference and connect with other people there, as well as people in your industry who aren’t able to attend. 

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Bail

If a session turns out not to be what you expected, feel free to leave. You can attend your second-choice session for that time slot or use the extra time in whatever way feels right for you. 

7. Share What You Learned

Attend the conference with an eye toward passing along information to your team. Take notes and forward any handouts or videos you found valuable. Sharing your key takeaways helps your colleagues, and it helps you retain all the information you learned at the conference, too. 

Grow With Us

If you’re looking for more opportunities to grow as a financial advisor, the opportunities are endless at Farm Bureau. Contact us today. We’re ready to help you take your business to the next level with the support you need every step of the way.