It’s time for the FIA’s annual Futures & Options Expo – an annual conference and exhibition showcasing vendors, exchanges, and other participants in the futures and options space. While much of the programming is directed at institutional participants, there is always a lot to discover for the retail futures and options trader as well. The conference takes place at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago from November 3 through 5.
This year, the exhibition hall will be enhanced by the inclusion of an Innovators Pavilion – a special showcase of new and innovative fintech firms covering all aspects of trading. Of particular interest to the retail trader is AIREX Market – an online marketplace for financial apps. Traders might also be curious about some new trading functionality presented by vendors Tradelegs, OGG Trading and Allocate Bullion Systems. Panels on specific topics of interest will be presented on the Innovation Stage within the Pavilion. Of particular interest might be the Exchange CTO panel at 12:30 pm on Wednesday, November 4 or the Tools for Trading panel at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 5.
The general exhibitors hall will showcase many vendors of interest to the retail trader including market data and analytics vendors such as CQG or Interactive, electronic news vendor Alphaflash, and the Nadex exchange – a binary option exchange geared toward the retail trader.
A trade show only pass is available at a cost of $30 or can be given away by certain vendors.
The conference itself is generally geared toward institutional participants and features many panels on regulation, operations, technology, and market structure. However, a number of the panel sessions and the keynote lunch may be of interest to the retail trader. On Wednesday, the keynote lunch speaker is Steven Johnson, author of best sellers on innovation including How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From. There will also be a panel on the oil markets Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday morning kicks off with a panel on Washington Outlook or a concurrent panel on Investing in Innovation. There is also a panel after that on Machine Learning. In the afternoon, there is a panel on what’s new in Equity Options and a panel on What’s New In Trading Platforms.
Traders can purchase a ticket to a single session on-site for $155 or a single day of the conference for $600. Purchase of a single day pass grants access to the exhibit hall, the opening reception Tuesday night and access to the Wednesday CME reception for Wednesday single day pass holders.
Let’s not forget the fabulous receptions and networking opportunities. The opening reception will be held at City Winery, 1200 West Randolph Chicago. Entrance is available to full conference registrations, single day conference pass holders, or holders of a special Exhibit Hall Plus pass available for $90 and entitling the holder entrance to the exhibit hall, exhibit hall reception, and Wednesday night CME Reception at Union Station.
Finally, once again FIA will sponsor the FIA Cares Great Chicago Steakout benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The dinner showcases special creations from 14 of Chicago’s finest steakhouses a silent auction offering a wide variety of special items. Tickets are $375 a person. You do not have to participate in the conference to attend.
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