First-timers Guide to the LMA Annual Conference Day 1 – Pre-Conference and Networking

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Members of the National Law Review have attended the LMA Annual Conference in the past. However, as my name badge suggested, this was the first time I had the pleasure of joining some of the finest people in the legal marketing industry. The conference was held this Monday April 13th to Wednesday April 15th at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel and featured three jam-packed days of quality programming and networking opportunities. People who wanted a little bit extra out of the conference could opt-in to attending one of six pre-conference workshops offered on Monday. As a newbie, I did not’t want to miss out on the opportunity for additional training, because, hey, might as well do it all!

The Conference before the Conference

The tracks ran from 8:45am to 5pm and appealed to many different professionals within a marketing department[1], but I attended the “Breakthroughs in PR, Content and Communications” session. A neatly bound book of materials was presented to me at registration that contained all of the the materials for my particular track. This program was a great fit for me because it closely aligns with what we here at NLR strive to achieve: to provide our clients with the means to enhance the visibility of their firms.

The sessions fell into two categories for me : 1) ways technology can enhance your legal marketing strategy, and 2) ways to present the firm in a light that will be compelling to the media. Among the sessions were discussions of social media and digital trends, ways to control and enhance your online presence, and a panel featuring members of the media discussing their perspectives on the future of media coverage of the law (a panel that I will write more depth about in a later article).

What I found to be the most valuable for myself personally was the “Power Writing” session led by Amy Spach, Editor and Copywriter atPerkins Coie and, John Byrne, President of Glencoe Media Group. At one point during this session, we were asked to consider what type of writer we are. I quickly realized that I was one of the very few in the room that is a very slow and deliberate writer. This lightning fast session provided me with some great tips that boosted my confidence in being able to write more efficiently. I only wish the session had been two hours long, but perhaps at that point it would have crossed the line from “helpful refresher tips and new tidbits” to being too elementary for the many former journalists in attendance.

Connecting with Fellow Legal Marketing Professionals

Following a long day of sitting quietly and learning, it was time to get out there and network! I was pleased with the way LMA provided many opportunities for people to connect.  I myself enjoyed meeting many new people at ourLMA Midwest Meetup at the Pool Club, before heading over to the First-Timer’s Reception –organized by LMA International–and then finally making my way over to the exhibit hall for its opening reception.

The exhibit hall featured over 100 vendors of legal marketing services, so an attendee would have no problem finding someone to help them solve a particular need at their firm.  For the duration of the conference, a “Networking for Prizes” contest ran with the help of the handy LMA International Mobile app. This was a game that was designed to encourage people to visit as many booths as possible, thereby giving vendors an extra boost in their exposure.

I met many wonderful people, but I spent the most time with our friends at the Jaffe booth. Yes, they had a contest, and yes, I did eventually win a prize from them. However, it was just such a pleasure to meet many members of their staff in person and to get to know them as people and professionals. Visiting exhibitors–and to the extent possible spending time talking to them–was valuable in gauging whether or not I would enjoy working with them as a vendor, should the need for their services arise.

As a first-time attendee, I am glad I joined the pre-conference and made use of all the built-in networking opportunities the LMA had to offer. The programming was outstanding and the plethora of different tracks available provided fantastic choices for legal marketing professionals at all levels and in all positions.  The networking opportunities the LMA devised were great for encouraging people, especially first-timers, to get themselves out there and speak to their peers. And the networking events were not limited to just the first day; there were many other opportunities in the second and third days of the conference, which I will recap in my next post.


[1] The other sessions available were as follows: “QuickStart – Legal Marketing Competencies”, “Impact Marketing for Small and Mid-sized Law firms”, “CMO Summit”, “Legal Lean Sigma and Project Management White Belt Certification Course”, and “Leadership in Innovation – Preparing for the Next Decade of Opportunity”.

This is the week! Join LMA New England for their Regional Conference, November 13-14 in BOSTON!

Register today for the LMANE 2014 Regional Conference:
LMA-NE-2014-3
When

NOVEMBER 13 & 14

Where

Revere Hotel, Boston, MA

REGISTER NOW!

There are many benefits to attending the LMANE Regional Conference, below are just a few:

LMANE Legal Marketing Association New England Boston Regional Conference

You will walk away feeling energized and full of new ideas to bring back to your firm!

Join LMA New England in ONE week for their Regional Conference! Nov 13-14 in Boston

Register today for the LMANE 2014 Regional Conference:
LMA-NE-2014-3

 

When

NOVEMBER 13 & 14

Where

Revere Hotel, Boston, MA

REGISTER NOW!

There are many benefits to attending the LMANE Regional Conference, below are just a few:

LMANE Legal Marketing Association New England Boston Regional Conference

You will walk away feeling energized and full of new ideas to bring back to your firm!

Simplify to Maximize: Register now for the LMA New England Regional Conference, Nov 13-14, Boston

The National Law Review is proud to bring you information about the LMANE 2014 Regional Conference. Register today!
LMA-NE-2014-3

 

When

NOVEMBER 13 & 14

Where

Revere Hotel, Boston, MA

REGISTER NOW!

There are many benefits to attending the LMANE Regional Conference, below are just a few:

LMANE Legal Marketing Association New England Boston Regional Conference

You will walk away feeling energized and full of new ideas to bring back to your firm!

 

One week until the LMA P3 Conference, June 12-13 in Chicago

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the LMA P3 Conference to be held in Chicago June 12-13, 2014.

LMA_P3_WB250x250_Frame2

 

When

Thursday – Friday, June 12-13, 2014

Where

Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile
633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Dig deeper into project management, pricing and process improvement.

The 2013 LMA P3 Conference set the bar high with fantastic breakout sessions, partner presentations and networking opportunities, but this year’s conference looks even more promising.

Join us for P3 – The Practice Innovation Conference, where pricing, project management, and practice innovation experts will discuss the use of various tactics to explore solutions to real issues face by law firms today.

This execution-focused conference will have attendees roll up their sleeves and collectively work out solutions. Click here to view the full conference schedule.

There is still time to register! Register now!

2 more weeks until LMA P3 – Practice Innovation Conference, June 12-13, Chicago, IL

The National Law Review is pleased to bring you information about the LMA P3 Conference to be held in Chicago June 12-13, 2014.

LMA_P3_WB250x250_Frame2

 

When

Thursday – Friday, June 12-13, 2014

Where

Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile
633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Dig deeper into project management, pricing and process improvement.

The 2013 LMA P3 Conference set the bar high with fantastic breakout sessions, partner presentations and networking opportunities, but this year’s conference looks even more promising.

Join us for P3 – The Practice Innovation Conference, where pricing, project management, and practice innovation experts will discuss the use of various tactics to explore solutions to real issues face by law firms today.

This execution-focused conference will have attendees roll up their sleeves and collectively work out solutions. Click here to view the full conference schedule.

There is still time to register! Register now!

Innovate, Embrace Change, Don't Fear Failure: Takeaways from LMA (Legal Marketing Association) Annual Conference

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One message rang true at this year’s LMA Annual Conference: innovation and change are requirements for success. Change may be scary but innovative firms stand out from the rest. At times they may fail, but these failures serve to make firms stronger, not weaker.

Build Unusual Partnerships

Look at Cinnabon’s President Kat Cole, who gave the keynote address this year.  When market share started to dip for Cinnabon, she boldly partnered with Pinnacle Vodka, and with competitors like Pillsbury and, Dunkin’ Donuts. These unusual collaborations helped to dramatically grow revenue to over one billion dollars annually for the company. She not only had to take a risk but she also had to convince management to do the same if they were to expand the brand and business. Yet, for her, being innovative was a necessity, not an option. If she didn’t do it, someone else would have. She credits her success to understanding how the business got started and what sets it apart from competitors. This formed the basis for her collaborative partnerships which proved hugely successful.

Work with Multiple Generations

Change has also come to impact law firms simply by the fact that multiple generations are now present in the market. The most senior partners are not retiring. A generational rift exists both within law firms and between law firms and their target clients. While the senior and boomer generations still hold the majority of power within the firms, clients and prospects are frequently fitting into the Generation X demographic. The different generations have completely separate expectations, motivations and desires, some of which are diametrically opposed. Understanding those generational differences and reshaping our internal cultures and power dynamics will be a key to retaining talent and attracting new business.

Help Grow Your Clients Business

Providing excellent legal work is a given. But clients expect their lawyers to understand their business, to help them mitigate their business risks, and to come up with ideas to help them generate revenue. Clients expect to see their attorneys at the same industry conferences they attend – speaking, networking and making recommendations.

The General Counsel panelists reported they have to do more with less money and time. One way lawyers can help is to personally forward client alerts and draw the GC’s attention to a specific section (e.g., see “bullet point 3”) — instead of making them read through the entire article. The GC panelists also agreed that the articles talking about the law itself are not helpful; talk about how the law affects the client or prospect’s business. Co-authoring articles with clients was another suggestion – it makes them look good and brings the relationship closer as well.

Innovate

The pre-conference CMO Summit focused on innovation, i.e., new products and services. Jordan Furlong of Edge International and Law21.ca led an interactive discussion on using research and development to establish a competitive edge in the legal industry. What are some of the new products and services, or yet-to-be-developed possibilities that lawyers could offer? A variety of apps and toolkits, a virtual general counsel set-up or client hot-line, a mobile or shared workforce to reduce overhead, and more…the key being to identify the needs of industries and clients, and respond to those needs innovatively.

Many other topics were covered at the conference but the overarching theme is that those who innovate and embrace change will be the ones to find the most success. Step out on a ledge and don’t be afraid to fail – you will find greater success and learn more than those who just watch from the window!

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