NextGen: ‘Out There’ in the Outback

First time attendees at Synchron’s annual NextGen conference are told beforehand that it will be unlike any conference in the financial services sector, with most agreeing with that statement afterwards.

From the images on this page it would appear the main difference is that attendees, most of whom are advisers under 40 years of age, spent plenty of time socialising over the four days they spent in Alice Springs at the 10th annual NextGen conference.


To an extent, that is true, Synchron were very keen to have their advisers, administration staff and industry partners get to know each other personally and professionally.

Yet, in those four days the 65 advisers, staff and supporters also sat through one full day and two half days of training designed to help them communicate better with clients, as well as workshopping the concept for an app that will simplify the life insurance advice process. (And let’s face it, photos of those sessions tend to be pretty dull!)

Synchron Director, Don Trapnell said the ‘work hard/play hard’ approach was intentional and created cohesion among advisers who came from across the country, many meeting each other for the first time on arrival.

He said the combination of early starts (including Zumba exercises), late finishes (over a beverage and a song), group learning sessions and outdoor activities creates long term professional relationships but also provides a balance between work and what happens after work.

This different approach has created two small hurdles for Trapnell and his Synchron team. The first is finding new ways to challenge attendees and the second is deciding who makes the cut each year. With only 65 seats available interest from advisers is high, proving that the recipe struck over the past decade ago still produces the goods for Synchron today.

Riskinfo senior journalist, Jason Spits recently attended the most recent Next Gen gathering in Alice Springs as a guest of Synchron.

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