Annual events tend to get better with age, as processes are continually refined to accentuate their best attributes while mitigating any negative ones.

Such is the case with Senior Market Advisor Expo, which recently wrapped up its sixth iteration at Wynn Las Vegas.

In terms of numbers, 2007 was the biggest SMAX (as we like to call it) to date, with more than 400 actual attendees (not including exhibitors) and our biggest exhibit show floor.

A highlight of the three-day event for me was Thursday’s keynote event, which featured all five finalists for the 2007 Advisor of the Year award. The session went very well, but it needed more time. You put five top producers like that on a stage and turn them loose with a couple of questions, and your hour is gone in a flash. As anyone in attendance can attest, each one of them could have easily taken the entire hour on their own.

Next year, one or two of them may get that chance, as you may well see them booked as a speaker for one of the breakout sessions at SMAX 2008.

But as for the finalists roundtable itself, look for it to be back in 2008, featuring next year’s finalists – whoever they may be – and for it to have a longer time slot. It just seemed like a shame to have to wrap that session up after an hour when our finalists were hitting their stride, covering topics of keen interest to the typical attendee. It was indeed the essence of the type of educational content an event like SMAX is intended to provide for attendees looking to increase their own production.

I want to apologize because the session didn’t include time, as intended, for the panelists to field questions from the audience, and assure you we will find a way to incorporate audience questions into next year’s roundtable.

The staff at Senior Market Advisor is already bursting with ideas on how to make SMAX 2008 – scheduled for Aug. 20-22 at the Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando – even better than the 2007 version.

Brian Anderson

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