Attendee Tips

This handy guide loaded with essential tips will help you get the most out of The Financial Brand Forum. Here’s how to maximize your time and make every moment count at the most anticipated banking conference of the year!

Need Help? Have Questions? You can call or text our Attendee Concierge anytime during the show hours at 206-661-5070 or stop by the registration desk.

Picking Your Hotel

You will get the best experience by staying at the Aria Hotel & Resort, where the entire conference is hosted. This is your most efficient and convenient option, minimizing the walk from your hotel room to the conference space — under 5 minutes — while maximizing your opportunities to network with other attendees. The Aria has every amenity, including a large fitness center that is very well-equipped, a spa, salon, three pools, and over 16 different restaurant options. The rooms are luxurious, and the casino is classy — it’s not your typical neon Vegas vibe at all.

You could stay at the Vdara, the Aria’s sister property right next door, which offers a more condo-style experience with no casino, one restaurant and a lobby bar. The walk from the Vdara to the conference space is only about 750 feet.

The Cosmopolitan is also close by (10-minute walk). And the Bellagio has a quick tram to/from the Aria.

If you’re looking for a more affordable hotel that’s close to the Aria, another option would be Planet Hollywood right across the street (10-minute walk).

Expert Tip: If you don’t stay at one of the properties listed above, you will probably want to take a taxi to- and from the Aria, which complicates your experience, takes up time, and costs extra money. It’s tempting to think, “Hey, it’s Las Vegas and the weather is nice. I’ll just walk.” But even just walking across the street takes 15+ minutes, and you may be sweaty by the time you get there.

Caution: There are scammers out there posing as representatives of either The Financial Brand or one of our partner hotels in Las Vegas. These folks may call or email you asking you to book your hotel room. The safe play is to make your hotel reservations through our Venue portal.

Arrival & Departure Dates

To maximize your ROI and time out of the office, we recommend checking in Sunday, May 19th and checking out Thursday, May 23rd. By arriving Sunday, you will be able to attend any of the three workshops Monday morning, which take deep dives into critical subjects — strategic planning, innovation, and behavioral marketing. Then you can grab lunch, and hit an afternoon workshop. (See all six workshops)

You definitely want to be checked into your hotel no later than 4 pm Monday, so you can make it to the hosted cocktail reception in the exhibit hall starting at 5 pm, followed by comedian Jim Gaffigan’s private stand-up performance for Forum 2024 attendees at 7 pm. Considering most hotels don’t let you check in before 4 pm, it makes sense to arrive Sunday. You’ll also be able to pick up your conference badge early, and beat the crowds at the registration desk.

Expert Tip: Don’t make the mistake of scheduling your flight home Wednesday. Nearly every attendee who has tried to sneak out early on the last day (e.g., those traveling back East) has told us that they regretted this decision. The heart of the Forum 2024 conference falls on Tuesday and Wednesday, so take the time to enjoy both days — particularly Wednesday, with all the sessions and closing cocktail reception. Just fly home Thursday.

Resources to Maximize Your Schedule

When it comes to planning, optimizing, and maximizing your schedule at the conference, there are three tools that you will find indispensable: the event mobile app, the on-site pocket guide, and the on-site Forum INSIGHTS magazine.

The mobile app allows you to build an interactive schedule based on the sessions you want to attend. The mobile app will also send you automated reminders about your selections (if you have alerts activated). You should download and activate the mobile app as soon as it’s released. We’ll send you an email reminder (or two!) when the app is ready to download, which should be the first week of May.

You will receive the Forum 2024 pocket guide when you check into the Aria or Vdara, or you can pick one up at the attendee registration desk. You’ll be given a copy of the Forum INSIGHTS magazine when you pick up your conference badge. Both the pocket guide and magazine contain similar information — schedules, maps, and other handy resources. But the magazine is essentially an exhaustive show guide, containing more rich, thorough, and detailed information. You’ll find both to be useful resources that you want to hang onto throughout the conference. No matter how awesome a mobile app might be, sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to reference a printed piece.

Expert Tips: The on-site magazine is bulkier than the pocket guide, but you’ll regret it if you throw it out. Also, be sure to leave alerts in the mobile app on, or you won’t get reminders about the sessions you’ve picked. Check out the online daily schedule now to you can start to plan your optimal agenda.

Breakfast & Lunch

We provide both a full breakfast and a hearty lunch — complimentary for all attendees — on both Tuesday, May 21st, and Wednesday, May 22nd.

But first, coffee. If you must go to Starbucks for your fix, you will likely wait 20 minutes (or longer) to place your order and pick it up. Which is why we serve both free coffee and complimentary espresso beverages in the Forum 2024 exhibit hall starting at 7 am on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

You should plan on hitting the exhibit hall on Tuesday and Wednesday for both breakfast and lunch, even if you’re not hungry; these are prime opportunities to network with other attendees. There are only a couple places to get breakfast fare at the Aria (Egghead, Starbucks, Aria Patisserie, Salt & Ivy), and they are typically pretty congested. The Aria has a food court with both breakfast and lunch options, but why fight crowds, wait in line, and pay extra out of pocket?

Expert Tips: Eat in the Forum 2024 exhibit hall to maximize your time, save money, and network with peers. Vegetarian options will be provided, but if you have any other dietary restrictions, just let us know; we can accommodate gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free requests.

Dinner & Drinks

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, there will be a hosted cocktail reception in the Forum 2024 exhibit hall starting at 5 pm, including free drinks and a bunch of edible options until at least 6:30 pm. We wouldn’t say we serve “dinner” during our receptions, but you could easily skip dinner.

The best restaurants for corporate dinners will be booked well ahead of the conference. The three most difficult reservations to get include Jean George, Catch, Cathédrale. You will have an easier time squeezing into Bardot (which is excellent!), Julian Serrano, Blossom, and Lemongrass.

Expert Dinner Tips: If you’re really smart, you’ll find a way to get invited to dinner by one of the Forum 2024’s sponsors. If you don’t have reservations, try grabbing a seat in the bar at one of these restaurants: Bardot, Carbone, Jean Georges, and Javier’s inside the Aria; or at Toca Madera and Mastro’s at the Crystal Shops right next door. There’s also Beauty & Essex at the nearby Cosmopolitan. All of these are top-notch options for dinner.

Expert Cocktail Tips: The Sky Bar at the Waldorf next door to the Aria is spectacular, but you will need reservations. There’s a fun, cozy speakeasy at the Aria (hint: donuts). Order the Verbena cocktail next door at the Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Bar and take a bite out of the garnish — called the “Szechuan Button” — for an experience you will never forget.

Session Slides

Most attendees want copies of speakers’ PowerPoint slide decks. You can access these by stopping by the StrategyCorps booth #822, where you can snap a photo of a QR code and download the Forum 2024 Digital Toolkit. This includes PDF-optimized PowerPoint presentations from every breakout, and a massive collection of other excellent resources.

You can also view the slide deck for breakout sessions from within the mobile app. Navigate to the specific session and look for the link. This can be particularly handy while you’re attending a breakout (e.g., if you want to skip back and view a slide after the speaker has moved on).

Expert Tip: Take a look at the presentations for breakouts as soon as possible (e.g., early each morning during breakfast). This will give you a good idea about the topic and how advanced the material will be. This can help you decide prioritize which breakouts you want to attend most.

Comfortable Attire

Suits and ties are not required. We suggest business casual (e.g., slacks, polo shirts), but feel free to wear whatever makes you comfortable. Sometimes hotels crank the air conditioning up, so it’s a good idea to bring a sweater, sweatshirt or light jacket with you just in case.

In May, the average daytime temperature in Las Vegas ranges between 85-94°. You could come a day or two early to spend the weekend at the luxurious Aria pool. Bring your flip flops and swimwear so you can catch some rays on Saturday and Sunday so you can start the conference with a sunny glow.

Expert Tips: Bring comfy shoes. Smart attendees will rotate their footwear at least once a day.

Bring Your Team

We hear from attendees time and time again that they wished they had brought more people from their team to The Financial Brand Forum. Take a look at our attendee feedback and see for yourself. There’s simply so much good information and stuff going on that you can’t tackle it all by yourself.

Attending as a group allows you to exchange ideas and discuss strategy in real time. It’s easier having these conversations when you’re all on the same page because you all heard the same information. You’ll also find that your receptivity to new innovations and ability to brainstorm creative solutions increases when you spend time away from the office environment you work in every day. After all, it’s hard incubating fresh ideas within the creative vacuum of a stale environment.

Expert Tip: You’ll get a much higher ROI from the conference if you bring other people from your team.