I've just emailed my presentations to the organisers of PIMS International which takes place later this week. And in a couple of weeks' time, just after the Institute of Financial Planning's Conference in the Midlands, I'm off to the Asia-Pacific Financial Planning conference in Singapore with Lasse Meholm - the ceo of FinanceCube.
From Singapore, Lasse goes on to the Financial Planning Association of America’s Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
Shortly after that, there’s a big industry event in Manchester where I am speaking followed a few days later by the Personal Finance Society’s Conference in Birmingham on 2nd and 3rd November. And on the 3rd, I’m also speaking at a National IFA’s own conference and somehow I’m going to try and squeeze in the Professional Speaker Association’s annual convention that weekend.
The following week, the IFP have their Scottish Conference and then there’s a big mortgage event in London. And so it goes on.
From an exhibitor’s point of view, Christmas arrives before you know it and it’s almost time to start all over again.
For the delegates, exhibitions are a great place to catch up and network with providers and other local IFAs.
Unfortunately, many of the workshops and presentations at these events are becoming a bit ‘samey’, with not a lot that is particularly new, exciting and different.
The usual suspects of pensions opportunities, regulatory updates and IFA remuneration models are getting tired and it’s surprising how little the industry is addressing the one subject that will have more influence on our industry than just about anything else over the next five years – the internet.
I’m currently running a survey on IFAs’ use of the internet within their businesses – and whilst there’s a general admission that the web is an opportunity in the future, few appreciate that the technology is here NOW that meets the rapidly changing needs of consumers that are looking for information on financial matters.
Increasingly, the investing public is taking matters into their own hands and adopting a ‘self-service’ approach to personal finance. The good news, is that online portfolio management tools are already available that can be plugged straight in to make an IFA’s website more interactive and attractive and that one or two IFAs are taking the plunge and offering an online proposition.
And as I pack my bags with aspirin, it doesn’t surprise me at all that the impact of the internet is high on the agenda at both the US and Asia-Pacific conferences.
Philip Calvert is sales director at FinanceCube.
The views expressed are those of the author and not those of the company he represents.IFAonline
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