At SunStar, we often get asked which conferences are best and most effective. Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. Many factors should be considered, including budget, target, your existing distribution network and timing.
The cost of exhibiting at a conference can be somewhat daunting. If you add up the fees, including travel expenses, booth design and manufacturing, marketing pieces and the cost of having one or two people work the show, it can range in price from a couple of thousand dollars to tens of thousands. You should set a plan based on your budget.
Consider who your target investors are. Different conferences attract different audiences. Know the audience and make sure that they are the people that you are looking to target. Gather as much information as possible from the organizers and speak with people who have exhibited in the past. By doing a little bit of homework, you can get the biggest bang for your buck.
Find out which of your platforms have conferences at which you can exhibit. You would not want to exhibit at a conference where the attendees can not invest in your products. Many of the major platforms, such as Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Pershing have their big annual conferences where hundreds, if not thousands, of advisors may attend. They also have smaller, regional events. There are other opportunities from third party vendors, news and trade publications, or organizations such as Morningstar, NAPFA, and Financial Advisor Magazine that also have events which your potential investors may attend.
For more information on conference planning check out our comprehensive Conference Series.