Details are still light, but Morningstar plans to move its flagship annual conference to Sept. 16 and 17, while converting the event to a virtual mode.
The normal mid-summer conference that attracts thousands of industry professionals to Chicago in June, is not possible this year with so much uncertainty still surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced last week.
“While we can never replace the face-to-face value that attending a live conference provides, Morningstar is fueled by our mission to empower investor success, and we’re committed to bringing you an exceptional digital conference experience this fall,” a statement read.
Beyond the dates, Morningstar does not yet have many specifics to share.
While the company has created a website for updates and frequently asked questions, it is mostly just promising a digital experience and letting people know anyone who already registered for the June 3-5 event will be refunded.
The virtual event, however, will not necessarily be free to attend.
Like other large industry events that are being transformed into virtual gatherings, Morningstar is aiming to set the bar high.
Referencing the annual conference’s 30-plus-year history of “insightful keynotes, panel discussions and networking opportunities,” Morningstar says, “We plan to deliver the same for our 2020 conference and look forward to sharing details with you in the coming weeks.”
Morningstar’s plans for a virtual conference follows an announcement from Charles Schwab Corp. in late April that its annual conference, originally scheduled for November in Boston, will now be a virtual event.
BNY Mellon Pershing has cancelled its Insight conference, originally scheduled for mid-June.
And the Financial Planning Association, has canceled some smaller retreats and workshops, but hasn’t yet pulled the plug on its annual conference slated for late September in Phoenix.
Across the financial services industry several virtual events have already taken place, including the Women Adviser Summit last week, and this week’s CFA Institute conference.