My Powwow: In which Mike Dyke attends the Powwow and wins a box of chocolates

Paraplanner stories
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Mike Dyke at the Powwow
With his nuanced combination of hat, sunglasses, t-shirt and shorts, Mike Dyke (above) subtly blends in with other Powwowers at September’s event.

by Mike Dyke

It’s probably one of the best, if not the best, event for Paraplanners that has ever been created.

It takes all the normal rules of a conference – smart dress, delicate nibbles, polite conversation and technical sessions – and throws them out of the window.

This is an ‘un-conference’, which means the delegates get to choose pretty much everything that happens, from the topics to discuss to the very generous helping of sweets to the music in the background. What makes it even better is that the sponsors there are not allowed to promote their products! Woohoo!

The topics we chose were, of course, close to many Paraplanners’ hearts. To kick off with we had three group sessions that covered suitability reports and what we should/shouldn’t put in them; an equation on ‘trust’ from Cofunds and what technology do we use hosted by the always brilliant Jo Hague.

As the weather was so nice we all then got to sit outside on the grass – a bit like last day of school on a warm summers day – to discuss two of three offerings in the Pick ‘n’ Mix sessions – how can we keep up-to-date with industry knowledge and the sunset clause, cashflow planning and client reviews. The only problem was picking the two out the three you wanted to go to.

The Powwow wraps up with a session from Chris Darbyshire, which began with the history of futures (which dates back to 1700BC when they were used for trading slaves). This led on nicely to the Powwow itself where we discussed whether paraplanning should be regulated or not, whether there should be a minimum set of qualifications and, finally, whether paraplanning ever be automated – a notion widely and correctly described as RUBBISH!

The best bit of the Powwow is the ability to mingle with like-minded individuals over the course of a day to share and swap ideas.

As it turns out we are a very sharing bunch and everyone was very willing to explain how they do things. It’s also very good for getting new followers on Twitter and LinkedIn 😉

The Powwow boasts the best range of food I’ve ever had at an industry event. The pre-Powwow Chowwow at The Cartwright Hotel went down a treat for those who were there. The morning brought us some mouth-watering bacon butties which were followed by burgers, sausages, fajitas and even ice-cream for lunch. (Yum yum!) The range of drinks was equally impressive. They even had a long forgotten favourite of mine: Lilt!

What’s more, there was a box of chocolates on offer for the best-dressed for an unconference. And I can rightly say: They are very nice. (So I expect to see more people in shorts and t-shirts next year, weather permitting.)

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