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A Million Dollar view from Philly

Sixteen advisers from New Zealand attended the recent Million Dollar Round Table conference in Philadelphia.  Here’s what they thought of the event.

Wednesday, July 17th 2013, 6:28AM

The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), an annual event attended by nearly 9,000 people from the financial planning industry, was held last month in Philadelphia, USA. It was one of the largest MDRT meetings in the history of MDRT.

The nearly 9,000 strong attendees, from 74 different countries, made this one-of-a-kind four-day event a huge success by contributing their ideas and expertise.

Founded in 1927, MDRT provides its members with resources to improve their technical knowledge, sales and client service while maintaining a culture of high ethical standards.

The nature of the topics presented was extremely diverse, ranging from ‘whole person’ topics through to practice management issues, wealth management, life insurance, sales, marketing and practice management from an incredible array of world class speakers, inspirational presentations, motivational sessions and networking events.

Some of the keynote speakers included:

  • Dr. Peter Diamandis is chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Diamandis is an international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded and run many of the leading entrepreneurial companies in this sector. He is also the New York Times Bestselling author of “Abundance — The Future Is Better Than You Think.” Diamandis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he received his undergraduate degree in molecular genetics and graduate degree in aerospace engineering. After MIT, he attended Harvard Medical School, where he received his M.D.
  • Dambisa Moyo, Ph.D analysed the global macro economy, focusing on investment opportunities and risks around the world. She serves on the boards of Barclays Bank, SABMiller and Barrick Gold, and she has worked at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank. Author of three New York Times bestsellers, Moyo was named to Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She is a contributor to CNBC and has been published in the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. She completed a Ph.D. in economics at Oxford University and a masters at Harvard.
  • Scott Stratten. An expert in viral, social and authentic marketing, which he calls “Un-Marketing,” Scott Stratten ran his “UnAgency” for a nearly a decade before solely focusing on speaking at events for companies like PepsiCo, Adobe, Red Cross and more. He has more than 118,000 Twitter followers and was just named one of the top five social media influencers in the world by Forbes. Aside from writing a nationally bestselling business book, Strat­ten’s clients’ viral marketing videos have been viewed more than 60 million times. Business Review USA recently named him one of “America’s 10 Marketing Gurus.”

Thoughts on the conference
Every single person I’ve ever met at a MDRT event is passionate about their chosen industry, energetic, would freely share ideas and knowledge and are humble enough to sit back and learn from others. Their attitude was that if they took just one idea from this conference, the investment would have been more than worth it. I have no doubt that anyone who attended this years MDRT Annual Meeting would have left with a suitcase bulging with ideas.

Here are some of the attendee's comments;

“I would just like to say thanks for the special invite to MDRT Philadelphia. An amazing conference and one that I believe every adviser in New Zealand should attend each year. With all those great speakers in one place over 4 days allows you to be spoilt with great ideas that you can immediately implement back into your business.
The question I had to ask myself was why didn’t I attend 10 years ago? Hopefully others will not be as stupid as I was.” Jamie Coltman Special Guest  - TNP

‘’Wow, absolutely inspired by this year’s MDRT in Philadelphia, was overwhelmed with the way all members were so willing to help one another with no hidden agenda, some inspirational speakers and new found friendships, I would go as far to say I have learned more from this weekend than I have over the last several years in the business! I will absolutely be attending every year from now on’’ Michael Broadbent – First time attendee

“What I enjoyed most about my first MDRT experience was the quality of speakers available. The connection Zone was great to get an insight into the longer presentations and also kept the level of concentration up as there were many short presenters to see as well. Overall a great experience”.  Travis Hamilton –First time attendee

“Personally I have enjoyed meeting people from different parts of the world, speakers and training sessions were great to learn different methods of selling, approaching clients and operating your business in a positive and successful way. It’s also great to feed from people with big experience and learning how they became successful and some of the key ideas that they have used to be top of the table consistently for many years. It’s definitely a good experience and beneficial for any one in our industry, something that I will look forward to doing it again next year”.  Ramzi Toumi –First time attendee

“Having never been in a room with 8000 people before was our industry equivalent of the “Oscars” Passionate people who are equally as passionate about our business”. - Darron Connelly - Special Guest  - Fidelity
What a blast, great venue and Philly certainly had plenty to offer.  Very diverse range of main platform speakers.  For me, I gained what I was looking for on the last day and have already started on the plain for restructuring my business.  John Rae – Life Member and NZ Flag Bearer

“The MDRT experience was one that allowed me to travel, spend time in another country in the middle of their summer and our winter, meeting many of  the most impressive and successful advisers in our industry and getting to know the industry on a global scale.   I was also impressed with the organisations efforts to show they appreciated new people joining.   What I enjoyed most about MDRT was definitely the main platform and the abundance of material for sale relevant to our industry which is something not easy to find here”.  Kirk Hawkins –First time attendee

What I enjoyed most about the MDRT is the changes it has brought about in my day to day outlook in the insurance industry, the tips and tricks I learnt at the MDRT are game changing. I sincerely believe there is no better conference then the annual meeting.   It is a life changing experience and a must for anyone in the industry to attend at least once. I will be highly recommending the MDRT meeting in the future to any of my colleagues who haven't attended before and even those who have been before but are looking for a refresher course. Cameron Bryant  - Member

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