‘Colour Your World’ is the strapline for the Festival of Financial Planning 2022, so what can PFS members look forward to? Simoney Kyriakou takes a sneak peek
Festival goers in 2022 have been having an amazing time. Not only have they not had to worry about rain and mud, thanks to an extraordinarily dry summer, but they have been enjoying the sort of immersive experiences that only in-person events can bring.
And so, post-Covid, the PFS is hosting a two-day festival of its own, and you are all invited to take part in what will be an absolutely unforgettable event.
Taking place at Birmingham’s NEC on 1-2 November, the Festival of Financial Planning boasts a stellar line up, with headline acts from across the profession, as well as a host of exhibitors, to help festival goers make the most of what is expected to be the biggest face-to-face financial event in the country.
Described as the ‘hottest ticket in financial planning’, your appetite will be whetted not only by the sessions on offer – more than 70 of them – but also by the variety of amazing street food and entertainment on offer throughout the two days.
With 17,000 square feet of space dedicated to supporting members and the financial advisory profession, this promises to be far more than a learning opportunity: this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event.
Indeed, the Festival of Financial Planning will be an immersive, in-person affair. Not only will there be multiple opportunities to network and catch up with friends from around the UK but attendees will also have plenty of fun in a relaxed, feel-good atmosphere.
There will be all sorts of amusing activities on offer, with interactive event stands, games, music and entertainment. This, combined with the extravagance of colour and the festival-feel set up, will make this an event truly not to be missed.
Nick Eatock, chief executive of Intelliflo, comments: “We are proud to be supporting the Festival of Financial Planning as a platinum sponsor.
“It is a truly landmark event that brings together all areas of the financial industry in a fun and unique way.”
We are striving to deliver an event which will live long in the memory of our members
Not to be missed
Members who attended the previous festival five long years ago may remember the vibe as approximately 2,000 people mingled happily (pre-Covid), networked and dined together, while they learned from top industry speakers and educators.
Five years on the 2022 event – with its strapline ‘colour your world’ – promises to “appeal to all”, according to Megan Webb, programme development and partnership manager for the PFS.
Ms Webb says: “We are striving to deliver an event which will live long in the memory of our members. In planning the Festival we wanted to put colour at its heart and its tagline – Colour Your World – reflects this while helping members navigate their way around.
“It promises to appeal to all personal finance professionals – whatever your background, level of experience or current role.”
It certainly is not to be missed, according to former PFS president Sarah Lord. She says: “For those of us who attended the previous Festival in 2017, you will undoubtedly remember the feel-good factor which wrapped itself around the event. It was so much more than ‘just another conference’.”
Show me around!
The focal point of this event is the Big Top, a colourful central area where festival-goers can meet and mingle. Attendees can imagine it as performing the same role as a town square or village green.
The festival’s main stage – the business end of proceedings, the platform where all voices can be heard and all perspectives shared – is called the Rainbow Stage.
Away from the Rainbow Stage, you will find a choice of smaller stages where specialist topics can be discussed. These stages are named after some of the individual colours that make up a rainbow, such as the Yellow Stage, the Red Stage, the Purple Stage.
For those who are intrigued by all things technical, there will be a special area dedicated to fintech and innovation, called the Fintech Fair.
Let us entertain you
The Festival will certainly be “something more” than a conference. Not only will it be a colourful place, but it will also have a focus on fun.
There will be an interactive horse-racing game for attendees to try their hand at, as well as a Wellness space where you can recharge your batteries and take some time out to relax amid what can be a busy schedule.
And when you get peckish, the NEC will be full of places to get some delicious food, whether you fancy a hog roast or some crepes with chocolate spread. Why not both?
Companies hosting stands or fielding speakers will also be bringing some party flavours and fun to the NEC. For example, Just is bringing a vintage camper van and those who visit will be treated to ice-cream.
Your senses can be further tingled by a variety of entertainment, including:
The Cosmic Sausages, a comedy street band performing humorous covers of well-known songs;
The Rustles, walkabout characters who promise to light up the darkest corners of the Festival; and The Neon Jugglers.
Day one will conclude with the prestigious Personal Finance Awards, which are now in their 6th year. This will be held at 5:30pm in the main theatre and the awards will be hosted by the much-admired comedian, actor and activist Sally Phillips.
Attendees will be able to network, drink and nibble on canapes while celebrating their own and their peers’ successes. Ahead of the awards a band comprising well-known individuals from across the financial services world will play covers of a selection of classic songs.
And, of course, the Festival’s sessions are all about making the lives of PFS members easier, so you can feel inspired by what you have heard and seen.
This one-off event has been designed to appeal to all members and all demographics, to make people at the beginning of their careers and those at the end of theirs feel included and part of something unique and exciting.
Caroline Stuart, the new president of the PFS, comments: “We look forward to welcoming you to what promises to be a great event and a truly rich experience.
“I have no doubt you will come away feeling inspired by the whole Festival and leave bursting with ideas to help your clients, your business and your growing network of financial planning professionals.”
Why wait? Visit pfsfestival2022.org to browse the full line-up of 70+ sessions and to secure your free place now!
What's in it for me?
While the Festival promises to be a day out to remember, there are longer term benefits too, including:
- Ideas which enhance your client offering
- Insights which will improve client outcomes
- Inspiration which takes your business/ firm to the next level.
Simoney Kyriakou is senior editor of FTAdviser