The first BFP conference held outside of Brisbane was in the beautiful city of Hobart and attracted a record 77 attendees. The conference title was "Running a successful Boutique Financial Planning Practice in 2015 and Beyond". Further evidence of the arrival of the BFP as a national association of professionals was the inclusion of external expert presenters in what is normally a conference about small AFS licensees helping other small AFSL licensees
Presenter Dr Craid Hassad of Monash University provided interesting research on mindfulness and multitasking
“In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard, and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” Christine Rosen, “The Myth of Multitasking.” The NewAtlantis thenewatlantis.com. Spring 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2011.
We were fortunate to have Neil Kendall, current Chair of the FPA in attendance, delivering a thought provoking presentation and participating in a panel discussing the future for financial planning. All members of the BFP are also FPA members and according to a 2014 member survey 60% of BFP members are CFP's and 40% of member firms are FPA Professional Practices.
Of course, we also had sessions run by advisers for advisers - including a glimpse of what advisers were doing about the practice of the future in a context of technological disruption, legislative and demographic change. A hallmark of the BFP conference is the extraordinary level of collegiate sharing of business process and activity.
The president, Dacian Moses, said that "the BFP's greatest strength is our absence of consensus". While this makes it difficult to provide a loud political voice, our members are constantly challenged about the way they have set up and run their practices. It is rare for BFP members not to glean valuable ideas from the conference that they can apply in their own business.
Other presenters included Sur Viscovic from Elixir, Futurist Gihan Perera, Ric Zanetti talking about staffing issues, Steve Prenderville discussing succession planning, and Andrew Hughes finished off the conference with a high energy presentation on resilience and self-leadership.
Feedback from members rated the Hobart venue 4.6 out of 5 and the overall conference at 4.7 out of 5. As a result it has been decided to hold the 2016 Conference again at the Hobart Function & Conference Centre, on the 15th & 16th September, 2016.