The Technology Tools for Today (T3) conference for advisors is the largest of its kind – an event solely focused on technology solutions specifically for financial advisors and wealth management firms that predates, by more than 10 years, the rise of the now-popular “FinTech” and “WealthTech” categories, says Michael Kitces in his blog post encouraging advisors to attend the 2020 T3 event in San Diego.
Kitces has long had the T3 Conferences on his list of best conferences to attend if you want to learn about technology and practice management solutions for financial advisors.
Functionally, the T3 conference operates less as a “conference” and more as a “trade show” – an exhibition-style event where advisor technology companies come to demo their latest wares and new or coming features. As a result, while there is an agenda of conference sessions, many are simply designed to allow companies to showcase their software… which isn’t seen as “selling out” the session to a sponsor, but the whole point of the trade-show-style session in the first place.
Accordingly, the event is very well covered by the industry media and independent consultants, and many companies time major software or product releases to announce at T3, from the launch of Riskalyze Premier and its Autopilot Partner Store in 2017 to the emX release from eMoneyAdvisor and the newest Morningstar Office Cloud solution… along with many companies that make their formal debut at T3 (including CRM provider Wealthbox, advisor PFM portal WealthAccess, portfolio risk analytics tool RiXtrema, compliance software provider RIA In A Box, and ‘second generation’ FinTech entrepreneur endeavors like Edmond Walters’ Apprise Labs and Oleg Tishkevich’s Invent.us).
Thus, the T3 advisor conference should be viewed as the best way to take in the entire landscape of the advisor technology ecosystem. Which is valuable both for financial advisors who are ‘shopping’ for new solutions – especially those making a transition to a more independent model, and trying to understand what may be available to them – as well as those who simply want to stay cutting edge and see the latest tools coming to the market. Many advisory firms simply come back to the T3 Advisor conference every 2-3 years just to stay abreast of what’s changing… while larger enterprises may attend annually in search of whatever new solutions are available to bring a little more efficiency to a more scaled advice firm.
Many advisory firms simply come back to the T3 Advisor conference every 2-3 years just to stay abreast of what’s changing… while larger enterprises may attend annually in search of whatever new solutions are available to bring a little more efficiency to a more scaled advice firm." ~ Michael Kitces
Scenes from the 2020 T3 Advisor Event
Notably for tech vendors, the T3 conference is still not a “huge” buying audience for companies looking for new users (as almost half of the 600+ attendance is typically fellow software vendors, media, and industry consultants), and those looking for big ‘deal’ opportunities would be better served by the T3 Enterprise conference in the fall (which specifically targets large broker-dealer and RIA enterprise decision-makers), or showcasing their solution in the XYPN LIVE FinTech Competition and its next-generation-advisor exhibit hall.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The T3 Enterprise event that was slated for the fall 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 lock down. The 2021 T3 Enterprise event will be tacked on to the back end of the 2021 T3 Advisor event. Mark your calendars for the week of September 27, 2021. You won’t want to miss the advisor-focused event the first 3 days nor the enterprise-focused event the last 1.5 days. PLUS there is a big announcement coming soon – something that will glue the two events together in the middle. Watch @T3TechHub for breaking news and announcements.
Nonetheless, the T3 conference is valuable for most vendors, both for the opportunity to gain at least some advisor users and introductions to some enterprise buyers who show up at the Advisor conference in addition to the fall Enterprise version of the event… and it also simply provides a chance to network with industry media and advisor tech pundits for visibility, and to establish relationships with other tech vendors that might be future integration partners (or even future strategic acquirers!).