The tremendous growth in private wealth is translating into a corresponding increase in the number of single-family offices. Most single-family office senior executives are looking for ways to deliver exceptional value to their “client families.” Consequently, they have a great deal of interest in benchmarking insights and best practices. The complication is that the world of family offices is, by and large, opaque.

While many conferences and related events for single-family offices do indeed deliver value, the industry is generating new ways for those responsible for the functioning of single-family offices to share ideas and learn. For example, “doing lunch” is becoming more common. In this scenario, a handful of single-family office executives and often wealthy family members meet over lunch to focus on an agenda they carefully crafted. Lunch lasts a couple of hours and the agenda covers no more than two items where concrete next steps are delineated.

Symposiums are also fast becoming a way for single-family offices to dal with issues and find ways to deliver greater value. They are proving to be an excellent way for senior executives and family members to begin to learn about and, in some cases, master capabilities that can significantly improve the performance of their single-family office.

“At a symposium, family office executives and family members are openly sharing of ideas, concepts and experiences," said Angelo Robles, founder and CEO of the Family Office Association and co-author of "Maximizing Your Single-Family Office Leveraging The Power of Outsourcing and Stress Testing." "There are not any formal presentations. Symposiums are mastermind groups with the objective of providing thought-provoking educational experiences. Very importantly, the attendees leave with actionable solutions.”

Generally, single-family office symposiums will bring in experts to address certain topics, but the greatest value is derived from facilitated sharing among the attendees. The attendees find that the experiences of others in similar circumstances, the actions they took and the outcomes that ensued are excellent ways for them to refine the operations of their single-family offices.

Conferences and similar events for single-family offices are multiplying. At the same time, other options for single-family office senior management and family members are also gaining traction. Symposiums are more and more an approach many in the single-family office are community using to connect and share information.

Russ Alan Prince, president of R.A. Prince & Associates, is a consultant to family offices, the ultra-wealthy and select professionals.