Exchange: An ETF Experience took place back in April. Evan Harp got the opportunity to sit down with Advisor Circle’s Sovaida Noronha to discuss the conference.
Evan Harp: What is one memory that stands out to you from Exchange?
Sovaida Noronha: The energy, the buzz, the excitement, being together at a live in-person event again. Reacquainting with teammates after two years, meeting the larger Exchange team for the first time. And really just meeting and greeting friendly faces with a smile or a hug. The human connection — it was great.
But beyond that, it was the first full day of the conference, walking into that Glimmer room to meet with the AV team, aligning any missed seating covers, helping to get the first set of speakers mic’d up and ready to go, walking onto the stage to make sure the lighting was just right.
And then hearing the drums.
I think the drums really just put it into perspective that this is it, we are going live… Then, seeing the attendees using their Exchange drumsticks to just drum along. I felt my heart beating with it, and then everything else was a blur.
Evan Harp: What’s one thing that surprised you about the experience?
Sovaida Noronha: How bright the lights are on stage. I usually always work behind the scenes crafting, shaping, and producing the content. But I took the stage for the first time. Hosting the event from the stage, I was genuinely excited and nervous. Walking onto that stage, let me tell you, those lights, they blind you! You cannot see beyond that first row, and that made everything so much better. [Laughs.]
Evan Harp: What’s something you learned at Exchange?
Sovaida Noronha: That education, networking, and collaboration are the key to growth. From listening in on the sessions to having real conversations and hearing feedback from our Braindate activations, there’s a great need for knowledge beyond products and an even greater need to access that knowledge from a live event. Being siloed for two years with just virtual events being one-way communicators, attendees were looking to break the chains and find more impactful ways of getting information — I think we really just nailed it in bringing our A-game for our attendees at Exchange to meet, connect, share ideas, and build lasting friendships.
Evan Harp: Now that Exchange is over, what are some of the key themes, trends, or stories you think will be impactful in the ETF industry for the remainder of 2022?
Sovaida Noronha: Given where the markets are today and looking at my notes from Exchange, I think a lot of the topics that were covered — like crypto, the macroeconomic outlook: bull market or bull [redacted], adjusting your portfolio for an age of uncertainty, active ETFs, fixed income, thematics investing. I think those are all the themes, trends, stories that we are seeing impacting the ETF industry. And I think it’s going to go beyond just the end of this year into next year.
Evan Harp: What are you looking forward to in Exchange 2023?
Sovaida Noronha: Can I say the Miami heat again? [Laughs.] I mean, the Miami heat for sure. But honestly, I’m really looking forward to connecting with our advisors and partners to better understand what they did or did not like about Exchange this year. Their input is super helpful, it will allow us to craft an agenda that provides them with critical takeaways, and an event that matters to them, which I think is key. But I can’t wait to take what we built in 2022 and improve upon it to make it the must-attend event for 2023!
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