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Triumph for first virtual National Conference

On Friday 26th March 2plan hosted the first ever virtual National Conference - an interactive afternoon of updates, talks, industry discussion, awards, and lots of laughs delivered through a mix of live streaming and pre-recorded films via Microsoft Teams. The conference programme even factored in time for a gin and tonic - sent in advance to participants.

Chris Smallwood Published 14/04/2021

More than 300 advisers and 60+ staff logged on to the event, which was curated around the theme of ‘reflect, reengineer, and reinvigorate’. The event kicked off with a film of CEO Chris Smallwood reflecting on the year gone by and setting the scene for the day, while driving over to head office in Leeds.

The 2plan National Conference has been a key event in the annual calendar for many years. Usually the event takes place at a central location, where 2plan advisers and staff come together from across the UK for talks, entertainment, networking, and industry insights. The event skipped a year in 2020 due to lockdown restrictions. 2plan felt it important to host the event again this year as it’s deemed an important way to educate, motivate and inspire the adviser network - particularly after the challenges faced over the last year and the levels of remote working involved.

Head of Business Growth and Recruitment, James Marshall, says the event was both a steep learning curve and a great success:

“Over the last year as a company we have adapted and risen to challenge after challenge. We have leaned on the technology we had already heavily invested in and continue to evolve. We have also embraced digital tools and what we’ve created is a full suite of virtual operations and service that works smoothly for both our advisers and staff. The virtual conference was the icing on the cake really, as it really does go to show that it really can be business as usual when you are determined to make things work.”

James claims that a high point was the fact that by the end of the event, almost all participants were still logged on - a marker of a well delivered, engaging virtual event.

2plan declared a successful year in 2020, despite everything, thanks to fast stabilisation and ongoing growth, and post-conference it’s back to business as usual. The plan is to continue with virtual meetings to enhance the service offered, but the consensus is that both staff and advisers are looking forward to being able to get out and meet face to face again, believing that online meet ups are a great practical option but can’t entirely replace that personal touch.

So was all the hard work on the virtual conference worth it? James thinks so “Seeing it all go to plan, and then putting my feet up and having a beer at the weekend afterwards - that’s a feeling of true job satisfaction.”

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Chris Smallwood