A year in the making and we’re finally here–ready to launch the 2011 version of Senior Market Advisor Expo being held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. SMAX is the only true peer-to-peer event in the industry and a great opportunity for advisors to learn from and network with other advisors.

There are CE credited workshops that begin at 8 a.m. on Wed., Aug. 24, but the show officially kicks off later that day at 3:30 p.m. with opening keynote speaker, Larry Winget. Known as the “pitbull of personal development,” Winget stirred up a hornet’s nest with his recent blog: “The corruption of the self-help movement.”

Winget is sure to get the crowd on its toes with comments like this one from his blog: “I doubt there is anyone who can make an intelligent argument against the fact that we have become the society with the biggest sense of entitlement in the history of our world. In fact, the bulk of all government spending is for a series of programs actually called ‘entitlement’ programs.”

On Thursday, look for our annual Advisor of the Year roundtable discussion, where all five of the AOY finalists will deliver the goods on what are the key ingredients that took them to the top of the industry. As finalist Jim Brogan, who will also speak in a breakout session on Friday, wrote in a recent blog: “In my session at Senior Market Expo, I’ll show you how I have built a brand that has grown my practice by 700 percent (new assets captured per year) in five short years, amidst the most challenging economic environment of our generation.” Look for those nuggets and more from the finalists.

On Friday, 2010 Advisor of the Year Van Mueller, a real rock star of the industry, will be the closing keynote speaker. Mueller says that attending SMAX and other industry events is vital to an advisor’s success: “Why? People who attend industry meetings on a regular basis believe in themselves and in our business, and their belief rubs off on me. These meetings always refresh and rejuvenate me. They give me energy and new ideas. My success is a direct result of my attendance at these events. They are the most important investment I make in my development as an insurance and financial professional.”

I hope to see you at the show. However, if you are unable to attend, please keep track of the Expo by following the conversation on Twitter by following @smamagazine, @producersweb or @SMAExpo or by typing in the tag #SMAX to get all the latest Expo news.