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Web won’t kill adviser conferences

Despite an increasing array of online learning tools for financial advisers, face-to-face conferences and courses are unlikely to ever become obsolete, industry figures say.

Friday, February 15th 2013, 8:33AM

by Niko Kloeten

The Professional Advisers Association (PAA) is about to launch its online continuing professional development offering, which will include its own YouTube channel with recorded presentations, as well as questionnaires for advisers to fill out to receive structured credits.

PAA professional development manager Jenny Campbell said online courses would give advisers more choice and flexibility in their learning.

“It’s going to get them more content; it’s much easier to put three or four new courses up online than to get to every region and do three or four courses face to face,” she said.

But Campbell said these new options wouldn’t result in face-to-face events going the way of the dinosaur.

“I still believe advisers will want to go to events.  Advisers are people people and it’s all about collegiality as well,” she said.

“We’ve had great success with Level 5 because we do workshops.  We’ve had a lot of advisers who had paid to do it via distance learning from another provider and they literally didn’t even open the boxes.”

New Zealand Financial Planning’s Jordi Garcia said it’s not just advisers in the regions who could benefit from being able to watch presentations from the comfort of their desks.

“I might be working in Auckland on the North Shore but when I went to this morning’s AMP Capital briefing it took me 40 minutes to get in there and half an hour to get back to the office when I would have been just as happy to look at a webinar.”

Garcia said attendance had dropped at IFA branch meetings since the institute began putting them online, with some advisers opting to watch them on the web rather than attending in person.

But he said there are certain aspects of events that can’t be replicated. “It doesn’t substitute for sitting down there at the table next to colleagues in the industry… that’s why conferences are really good.”

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at niko@goodreturns.co.nz

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