The Personal Finance Society (PFS) has postponed its large-scale events until 2021, but has confirmed that it will still hold virtual and smaller-scale events this year.
The professional body has decided that due to the uncertainty of future social distancing rules and to ensure the safety of members it will delay the Festival of Financial Planning, which would have seen thousands of financial advisers gather at Birmingham NEC in November.
The graduation ceremony for PFS members that was due to take place in October has also been delayed to 2021. Graduates and will be invited to London to be presented with their certificate once larger scale public gatherings are permitted.
PFS saw rise in e-mentoring at the outset of lockdown
The Personal Finance Society’s Awards, which were due to be presented at this year’s Festival, will still take place virtually on 3 November.
In the coming weeks, PFS members will receive details of a series of virtual events and smaller scale physical events that will take place across the final quarter of 2020.
Seven physical investment events, which will include a practitioner session, are planned to take place across the UK at venues that are able to meet the government’s COVID-19 safety requirements.
The events will take place in November, if government guidelines at that time allow, and content will also be made available online.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Our top priority is the wellbeing of our staff, speakers and members and while there is a greater sense of optimism as we start our journey out of lockdown, a lot of uncertainty over social distancing and a second wave remains.
“To provide greater certainty we will be converting most of our remaining events to digital but will retain a commitment to seven specialist Investment conferences later in the year, with the option to switch to digital if necessary.
“Naturally we are disappointed to have to defer the Festival as I know that many were looking forward to it being the biggest gathering of Financial Planners, with the previous Festival attracting more than 3,000 attendees.
“The Festival of Financial Planning allows thousands of financial advisers to gather to hear from leading lights in the profession and share how they are working together to improve the financial futures of our clients.
“We look forward to meeting in greater numbers in 2021.
“To continue to help our members with the challenges and opportunities they face as a result of COVID-19, we feel the best approach is to host smaller regional gatherings, videos and live streamed content for the remainder of this year.
“This blended programme of smaller regional meetings for the end of 2020 plus virtual events will ensure financial advisers can stay safe, informed and remain connected to the wider profession during these challenging times.”