In this Swift Chat, Marie Swift of Impact Communications, Inc. speaks with Joel Bruckenstein, President of Technology Tools for Today, about what to expect at the T3 2023 conference March 13-16 in Tampa.
Joel shares some of the featured speakers appearing at this year's conference, some of the topics and trends that will be discussed, as well as what to expect at this year's exhibit hall. The two also discuss all the details around lodging and planning to maximize your T3 experience
Learn more at: T3Confrences.com
We are super excited this year about our exhibit hall for the first time, I would say in a decade, we really have an unbelievable new amount of tech firms that are coming for the first time."
Transcript of Conversation
Marie Swift: All right. Welcome back to another great Swift Chat, and I'm joined by the godfather of financial technology, Mr. Joel Bruckenstein himself. Joel, tell us what's going on this year. It's 2023.
Joel Bruckenstein: It's 2023 and another T3 is coming up very soon. We're starting on March 13th through March 16th. The first three days will be our traditional track.
We'll have a concurrent enterprise track going along with that, and the last day of the 16th will be devoted strictly to CE credit for those advisors who want to get CE credits. We should be able to get you at least four or five credits on Thursday and perhaps some bonus credits if you're an early riser on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
Swift: So, people should really fly in on Sunday, March 12th, so that they can hit the ground running on that Monday morning. Right, because it starts Monday morning.
Bruckenstein: Oh, we start first thing Monday morning. Yep. I would strongly urge people to come in on Sunday night.
Swift: Yeah, so that's what my team and I are going to do. We're going to hit the beach or you know, check out downtown Tampa, see some clients and friends.
Then bright and early Monday, I know you've got a whole lot of interesting sessions and keynote speakers. Maybe you could just talk us through what stands out for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Bruckenstein: Well, we really have an embarrassment of riches and we're still adding new speakers. One or two I think will be surprise speakers.
I'm not sure we're even going to say who they are beforehand, but one keynote is Pietro La Greca, who many people know from the industry if you're on the FinTech side. He used to be part of our industry. He wrote a bestselling book, which is going to be made into a mini-series. He's going to be speaking about his life experiences, about the book, and about the mini-series, and we're trying to arrange for everybody to get a free book. So that's exciting. And there are some tie-ins with our industry, so that's really, really fun.
We have two gurus of social media, Stacy Havener and Samantha Russell, talking about how to maximize your social media presence. Based on what I see out there, I think a lot of our attendees will benefit from their wisdom. Bob Veres and I, as is our tradition, we'll release the results of the annual T3 Insight Information Technology Survey. We also have another survey that will be released that T3 co-sponsored within Incedo that's specifically targeted to our enterprise attendees. That's something they won't want to miss, and there will be a special session just about that.
Tom Bradley, who many folks know from his days at TD and now at Schwab, will be doing a fireside chat with me. I'm sure Tom will be talking about some of Schwab's latest technologies and also how the transition process is going for all those advisors who were with TD who will be transitioning to Schwab.
Traditionally there are quite a few of those folks at the T3 conference, so we'll spend some time with that. And Tom is always an interesting guy. There's been a lot in the news over the last year or so, actually the last few months about Bitcoin and blockchain. We actually have an internationally known expert Marco Di Maggio, who will be talking to us about blockchain, what's going on in the Bitcoin world and what advisors need to know to talk to their clients intelligently about that.
Larry Roth, who is an industry legend, will take the stage with Craig Iskowitz and perhaps others talking about trends in the broker dealer and enterprise technology space, and what to expect in the future. As many listeners may know I was sort of a pain in the ass for the CFP Board for 20 years fighting to get them to recognize technology as something that they should include in their education and in their CE credits.
We have Dan Moisand, who was the chair this year of the CFP Board, coming to talk about what some of those new initiatives are that the CFP Board has and hopes to have with regard to technology. The T3 survey over the last couple of years has shown that advisors are not spending enough time and preparing well enough, in our opinion, for cyber threats.
We're going to talk in plain English so that every single attendee can understand what some of those threats are, how to mediate those threats, and also that we believe there are some real opportunities that present themselves with regard to cyber. We think that advisors are going to be able to differentiate themselves in this area if they know what to do, and we are going to share with you what to do.
What else can I tell you? I probably should have said at the outset, that we are super excited this year about our exhibit hall. For the first time, I would say in a decade, we really have an unbelievable new amount of tech firms that are coming for the first time. I've actually interviewed a bunch of them pre-conference just to see what they're up to and what the value prop is. I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt, there's some really, really exciting new technologies coming into the tech space in our industry that advisors have never, ever seen before. You're going to get your first look at these really interesting new tech companies at T3.
Let me take a breath, Marie. That's a lot.
Swift: I'm excited, and I'm also excited to think about the social and networking activities because a lot of the benefit is seeing old friends, making new friends, finding out what's new, the latest and greatest in the exhibit hall. It's almost like the Consumer Electronics Show.
It's a pop-up city with everything that's cool. There's a lot of energy. I know we're going to have some fun things like the closing FinTech party, the T3 party, that's Wednesday night. We're going to have a Social Cam, that will be free for anybody who wants to just pop in and share their experience on the #T3SocialCam.
This year, something new we're going to have in the exhibit hall is one of those little glass enclosures, where anybody who wants to do a podcast or a video, be a guest on someone's show, or maybe just come and sign up to use that space. We're calling it the T3 Podcast / Video Station. Hopefully you caught your breath and there's a little bit more that you'd like to add.
Bruckenstein: Yeah, I think all of that is great. Also, traditionally, on the first night, Monday night, we open the exhibit hall, and that's a tremendous networking opportunity. Anybody who's been to T3 before knows that even though we have very long days, when the day of education sessions is over, people tend to congregate at the bars and the restaurants and network with folks. There's always a lot of conversation in the exhibit hall.
One other thing I should have added without editorializing too much is that I, in conjunction with Morningstar, many years ago, was the first to really start presenting awards with regard to technology. There has been a lot of chatter over the last year about the plethora of awards that are out there. We stopped giving them out because other people were, but I just feel that it's time for T3 to start really singling out a few firms and individuals that deserve the attention, and not to throw them in with a hundred other award winners.
We are going to be giving out two awards this year. You'll have to be there to see it and hear about it, but we will be giving out a Lifetime Achievement Award for Technology and also an award for an Emerging Technology Firm that has a technology that I believe pretty much every advisor should be using and nobody knows about. We want to bring some recognition to firms that really should be getting the recognition for the tremendous work they've done that are flying under the radar for most advisors today.
Swift: This is in downtown Tampa. We have the JW Marriott, and then the other Marriott property is just across a walkway. You don't have to even cross the street. They're both premium properties. The hotel block, I believe, closes February 18th if memory serves me well. You want to get your hotel reserved and make sure you come in on Sunday night, and then Thursday is really just for those who want CE, right? So maybe fly home Thursday morning if you don't want CE credits.
Bruckenstein: Yeah, if, if you're not looking for CE that's fine. I think some of those sessions on Thursday are certainly worth seeing whether you need the CE or not. I think we're starting to put a little more detail about what those sessions are, but there's a number of good sessions that have to do with estate planning that I know about. I can't off the top of my head tell you what all the other sessions are. I know there's one that I believe qualifies for CE that's around cybersecurity, and there's a number of other topics. So, it's not just for people who need CE. It's for people who want to learn more and get an in-depth look at some of the topics we'll be covering earlier in the conference.
Swift: The website is T3Conferences.com. That's where all of the sponsors, speakers, latest and greatest news we're posting there on a regular basis. If you're not following T3 on social media, particularly on Twitter and LinkedIn, you want to make sure to do that. Visit the website. Joel, in closing, is there anything else you want to mention?
Bruckenstein: The only thing I would say is the challenge we have is every year exceeding the previous year. Most folks told us that our last T3 was the best ever and we're really making an effort to exceed that this year. I think a lot of people are going to be very satisfied with both the program and what goes on in the exhibit hall and I just can't wait to see everybody in Tampa.
Swift: Yeah, me too. What could be bad about warm weather in the middle of March when you live in the Midwest like I do? All right, we'll see you there Joel. Thanks for spending time with me today.
Bruckenstein: Thank you, Marie.