I always think there are two periods in the year when aside from the usual circular and nonsensical arguments about re-registration and platform ownership, I find myself banging my head against a wall more frequently than might be the norm.
I believe these periods are commonly referred to as ‘conference season’ where the various elements of the industry gather to discuss and debate the big issues of the day and indulge in a bit of mud-slinging at competitors.
Great news of course for conference organisers, big London hotels and those others with their trotters over the trough but less so for those hardy souls tasked with manning their company’s pop-up stand handing out stress balls and cuddly long-term-care-teddies to CPD-seeking delegates.
I guess this is just another thing for me to moan about and it may be a necessary evil of our industry but having found myself kicked off a retirement event in France and all Nucleus staff banned from an event in Edinburgh at the request of sponsors, could it be that this is all just shameless money-grabbing which will ultimately just cost the client money?
Now, I have no problem with some of the networking spin-offs and some of the inspirational content one occasionally encounters but I can’t help think it’s about time that the editorial control of these events is allowed to come before the cash.
Very recently I bumped into a chap at Paddington station who was so disenfranchised with the ‘return’ he felt he would receive from an event he had co-sponsored that he had left the event half way through and was going to ask for his firm’s money back!
Not surprising as apparently the sessions he had attended comprised little more than a series of advertising pitches from the various firms who’d pumped the cash into the event.
Given there were few IFAs present, these sponsors were largely pitching to each other, which hardly seems the point. Surely they’d be better off taking each other out for a boozy lunch – it would take much less time and save a fortune.
While writing, I can’t help mentioning the subject of platform-to-platform re-registration as it is my greatest headache. Big news on the not-too-distant horizon I think. Watch this space…
In the meantime, enjoy the conference season and here’s to the summer…
David Ferguson is chief executive of Nucleus Financial GroupIFAonline
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