After almost six years in legal marketing, I attended the LMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas as one of two recipients of the Midwest Region’s Presidential Scholarship.
What an experience! So many new legal marketing connections. So many good sessions. So much to think about.
Here are a few reflections as a first-timer and a small-firm marketer:
Networking is key
- I decided to take advantage of as much as I could at the conference, so I went a day early to attend a few mixers and a pre-conference session. I also participated in a lunch networking session with the Small Firm/Solo Marketers SIG. Through the networking events, I met many people IRL who I previous only knew virtually through LME (Legal Marketers Extraordinaire on Facebook), my lifeline. These include Hall of Fame members, former board members of LMA, and conference presenters. They are approachable and willing to help other legal marketers at any time. Throughout the conference, I ran into them repeatedly and they always chatted with me to see how things were going (and they give hugs).
- If you’re part of team who are at the conference, connect with people outside of your firm. It’s what we tell our attorneys, right?
- Look people in the eye. Say hello. Invite others into your “groups” at mixers – don’t just leave it up to others to approach you or ask to join your group.
Look for content relative to your firm size
- I selected an all-day pre-conference session on Impact Marketing for Small/Mid-Sized Firms. By the end of the day, I felt it had been worth attending the conference even if I didn’t attend a single conference session. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case: I learned something in every session I attended during the next two days. I’m taking away ideas and tips that can be applied at some point or on a smaller scale at my firm.
Give yourself time to enjoy the entire conference
- I saw people who came rushing into the conference and who then rushed back out before it ended. It’s an expensive event, and if you can’t commit to attending the conference in full, it’s cheaper to buy the conference recordings. I found it sad how many firms expected these marketing professionals to be accessible throughout the entire conference via email or phone. It kept these marketers from getting full benefit of the conference. I spoke to more than one who had to work throughout the evening following a long day at the conference.
I’m back in the office today and am mentally overloaded and physically exhausted. But I’d do it all over again tomorrow without hesitation.
See you in New Orleans in 2018!
Brenda Christmas Marlowe | Marketing Manager