The FPA Business Solutions conference ran last week from March 7th to 9th in Chicago, Illinois. Located conveniently at the Westin O'Hare airport, the conference drew about 200 total attendees and just under 30 companies that provide financial planning or practice management-related products and services to advisors.
The practice management content followed a wide range, from how to view disruptive technology - or even become a disruptor! - to recognizing that for most firms, the real challenge is not the technology (whatever it happens to be) but how to really utilize it most effectively. No matter what type of practice, every advisor was able to find something of use in the lineup of sessions.
At the same time, though, the conference still is not as large as it could (and perhaps should) be. Attendance by exhibitors was spotty, with most key areas like financial planning and CRM software represented by a handful of providers, but only a handful. Some service providers, like custodians, were sparse, and other types - like broker-dealers - were not present at all. In addition, the turnout of consultants seemed light, despite the fact that practice management conferences are typically a great place to meet experts to help you solve the unique and particular problems of your own business.
Nonetheless, the reality is that FPA Business Solutions remains one of the only independent practice management conferences available for those who want to see something beyond whatever their custodian or broker-dealer serves up to them. From that perspective, the conference remains a stalwart of the financial planning space. Nonetheless, if the goal is to really see a wide range of products and services - and especially technology - dedicated to financial planners, FPA Business Solutions continues to face tough competition from the Technology Tools for Today event and the FPA Experience national conference.Continue reading "Impressions From The FPA ... »